France victory to prove expensive for Chinese sponsor

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A Chinese corporate sponsor of the France football team, who promised its customers a "total refund" of their purchases if Les Blues win the World Cup, has seen its stock dive 50 percent in just one month.

Kitchen appliance manufacturer Vatti has been a partner of the French Football Federation (FFF) since March, with the company allowed to use the FFF logo in promotional campaigns in China.

"If the team of France is the champion, Vatti offers you a total refund," proclaimed an advert from May on the internet and in newspapers.

For any purchase of a "champion package" between June 1 and 30, the company promised a full refund if France won. The refund would cover a set of four appliances with a total value of 16,100 yuan ($2,400).

The ad appeared as a contract, with an official stamp, date and signature of the CEO.

Another version included a contract featuring photos of France stars Antoine Griezmann, Kylian Mbappé and Paul Pogba.

But anxiety began to rise among Vatti shareholders as France advanced through the tournament.

The company's stock on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange has lost 51.7 percent of its value since the tournament opened on June 14.

"The amount to repay could be very significant, but it was included in our annual budget. It will not have huge consequences on the company," Wang Zhaozhao, a representative of Vatti told the China Securities Journal earlier this month.

France face Croatia on Sunday in the World Cup final.

© 2018 AFP

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