WeChat’s Tencent Helps Naspers Top 1 Trillion Rand Valuation

  • Africa’s biggest company gains 19% in Johannesburg in May
  • Naspers owns 34% of China’s Tencent, also trading at record

Naspers Ltd.’s market capitalization rose above 1 trillion rand ($63 billion) on Tuesday as Africa’s biggest company by valuation tracked the record gains of Chinese WeChat messaging app developer Tencent Holdings Ltd., in which it owns a 34 percent stake.

Naspers shares rose as much as 2.8 percent before trading 1.8 percent higher at 2,310.48 rand as of 3:42 p.m. in Johannesburg, extending all-time highs. The stock has advanced 19 percent in May. Shenzhen-based Tencent was 2 percent higher at HK$173.30 at the market close in Hong Kong, also a record, and is valued at HK$1.6 trillion ($206 billion).

“Many new technology stocks are at an all time high including Facebook and more importantly Tencent, in which Naspers has a big share,” Peter Takaendesa, an analyst at Cape Town-based Mergence Investment Managers, said by phone. “On top of that, the weaker rand is helping Naspers as its Tencent earnings are converted.”

Tencent has been by far Naspers’s most successful investment as the Cape Town-based company transformed itself from a South African newspaper publisher into a continent-wide multi-media provider and backer of emerging-market Internet businesses. Africa’s second-largest listed company is South African oil and gas producer Sasol Ltd., which has a market capitalization of 313 billion rand, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

The rand has weakened 26 percent against the U.S. dollar since the start of 2015.

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