Tencent Holdings’ founder and Chairman Pony Ma sold nearly HK$2 billion ($260 million) of the Chinese social media and gaming giant’s shares as they climbed back above HK$400, reported Caixin.
Ma sold 5 million shares from Jan. 14-17 at average prices of HK$398.1 to HK$401.4 a share, according to a filing with Hong Kong Exchange. After the sale, Ma’s holdings at Tencent dropped to 8.53% from 8.58%.
The recent sale came just before the lock-up period in advance of Tencent’s scheduled 2019 earnings report on March 18. Executives are not allowed to trade their listed companies’ stocks 60 days or fewer before an earnings release under HKEx rules.
In the past two years, Tencent’s stock was under pressure. In 2018, a nine-month freeze by the government on new game approvals amid a crackdown on violent content and addiction to online games hampered Tencent’s ability to make money off some of its popular games. The stock fell 23% during the year. Not until Jan. 13 did the stock climbed back to the level before the Naspers sale.