Contestants cash in as coronavirus-related shares soar

It's the first week of the six-week shares race and several of our contestants have selected portfolios packed with firms that make products that are in high demand due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Four of the eight picked Zoono Group, which has seen its share price surge more than 65 per cent since February 26. The shares are up 38 per cent alone since the competition began.

Zoono Group is experiencing high demand for its hand and surface sanitising productsCredit: Jennifer Soo

Zoono makes anti-microbial products, including hand and surface sanitisers.

Dan Silver, co-CEO of Stake, Angie Ellis, of 80 20 Investments, and Hina Chowdhary, director of research at Kalkine, all excelled when they defied a big fall in the market to finish the week with their portfolios well in the black.

Silver's original $100,000 portfolio is now worth $105,197, mostly thanks to Zoono, which is the best-performing stock pick of all.

Second-placed Angie Ellis also holds Zoono and, like Silver, also holds Eagle Heath, which makes and distributes nutritional and dietary supplements in China. The company also manufactures medical masks. Her portfolio value grew from $100,000 to $104,195.

Racers who have gone with companies whose products are in high demand because of the coronavirus outbreak have done best in week one of the six week raceCredit:Fairfax Media

Silver also holds the third-best performer, Biotron, which develops small molecule anti-viral therapeutics targeting Hepatitis B and HIV-1. However, the company is also testing its compounds on the coronavirus.

Biotron and Zoono are also held by Chowdhary, who is in third place with a portfolio worth $102,559.

Sixth-placed Dominic Powell, retail reporter at SMH & The Age and winner of the most recent competition, also holds Zoono.

The sharemarket, as measured by the S&P/ASX 200 index, finished the week down more than 4 per cent at 6,377 points on Thursday, the day the competition ended.

The Shares Race is a fantasy shares game that runs for six weeks. Players start with $100,000, divided evenly across 10 stocks. Their progress is reported weekly.

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