Naspers denied it is in talks with a Chinese investment company regarding selling its stake in Tencent.
Naspers issued a statement on Sens on Tuesday morning in response to an article published by Asian Tech Press, which claims the state-owned Chinese investment group CITC is in talks with Naspers to buy all the Tencent shares it owns.
Naspers labelled the article as “speculative and untrue”.
The statement said the “group continues with its open-ended share repurchase programme announced in June this year which is funded by the sale of small numbers of ordinary shares in Tencent held by the group regularly and in an orderly manner.
“The Naspers board and Prosus board reiterate their continued confidence in Tencent’s long-term prospects and continue to believe that the share repurchase programme is in the best interests of Prosus, Naspers and their respective shareholders.”
The Asian Tech Press article stated unnamed “sources close to CITIC” confirmed the talks and CITIC’s intention to take a controlling interest in Tencent. The article claims CITIC wants to take a controlling stake as Tencent is a “strategic infrastructure that affects the country’s livelihood”.
The share prices of both Naspers and Prosus bounced early on Tuesday morning. At 10:10 Naspers was trading 9% higher at R2071.82. Prosus gained 8.41% and traded at R861.58.
Prosus owns a 28% stake in Tencent, which is currently worth around R1.4 trillion.