TENCENT LOSES $24 BILLION IN MARKET CAP AFTER NASPERS’ SELLDOWN

Tencent Holdings Ltd.'s new headquarters stand under construction in Shenzhen, China, on Monday, Aug. 22, 2016. The new headquarters for Tencent is a $599 million project aimed at creating a campus-like atmosphere for the urban setting. Scheduled for completion next year, the Shenzhen skyscraper could become one of the largest labs for new internet services and connected devices. Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images

HONG KONG- China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd saw its shares down 4.51% at the midday trading break on Friday after the internet firm’s largest shareholder, Naspers Ltd, said it would lower its stake for the first time in 17 years.

Tencent holdings opened at 7.8%, HK$405, its lowest opening price since 9 February but it regained ground to HK$419.6 by noon.

The benchmark Hang Seng Index was down 2.81%.

On Thursday the stock fell 5% following a report that Tencent quarterly revenue missed estimates, including expectations of margin pressure, although the profits beat forecasts.

Friday’s loses wiped out $24 billion of Tencent market value, but the company value sits at $504 billion, remaining Asia’s most valuable listed company.

Naspers, South African media and e-commerce company said on Thursday they will sell up to 190 million Tencent shares, equivalent 2% of its holding, a sale that could earn Naspers up to $11 billion.

Naspers however will not reduce their holdings in the next three years.

CICC analysts Natalie Wu said, “The funds will reinforce Naspers’ balance sheet and be invested in classifieds, online food delivery and fintech globally,”

“We think it is a good opportunity to buy into dips given Tencent’s solid fundamentals.”

“Given Naspers’ largest single shareholding and board representation in Tencent, we believe its stake sale is unlikely to be a reaction to Tencent’s quarterly results. Instead of a timed profit-taking move, we believe this is more to improve Naspers’ own free cash flow and allow it higher flexibility in pursuing investment opportunities.”

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