Tencent sees 2017 profit climb 75 percent on robust ad sales

Reuters

Reuters

"We have no intention to sell any more shares and have publicly stated that we will not sell further Tencent shares for at least the next three years". Ad revenue from social and others grew 65 percent 25.61 billion yuan (US$4.05 billion), while media ad revenue rose 30 percent to 14.83 billion yuan (US$2.34 billion). "On the mobile front, our in-house developed MOBA game, Honor of Kings, achieved mass adoption and became the most popular smart phone game in China", commented Tencent.

Naspers owes much of its valuation to a $33 million bet in 2001 on a stake in Tencent, whose breakneck pace of growth has catapulted it into China's biggest Internet company with a $561 billion market capitalisation.

Lau said the Tencent Music business is suitable for its own initial public offering, while Ma said a listing of Tencent shares on a mainland exchange would be considered if policy conditions were viable.

Naspers's quandary is similar to those faced by other companies that made hugely successful investments in technology start-ups that eventually overshadowed their operating businesses, such as the winning bets Yahoo!

Under the deal, Naspers plans to sell up to 190 million shares, or 2 percent, in Tencent via an accelerated bookbuild to raise money that would fund growth in its e-commerce unit.

The decision to refrain from further sales and a failure to announce plans to return funds to shareholders through a buyback didn't sit well with some investors.

Its shares slid 5% in Hong Kong - the biggest fall in over a month - shaving some of the gains that ranked it among the world's best performers over the past decade, Bloomberg said.

"The market is short-term-natured, and there is some unhappiness that they will not sell again in the next three years", said Byron Lotter, a money manager at Johannesburg Vestact, which holds Naspers shares. Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley have been appointed joint global-coordinators and joint book-runners to manage the transaction. The sale should close before the Hong Kong market opened on Friday, Naspers said.

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