Tencent Holdings lost $7.4 billion of market value in Hong Kong trading after its Dutch-listed major shareholder Prosus announced a plan to trim its stake in the WeChat operator to fund a stock repurchase program, reports the South China Morning Post.
Prosus will gradually sell an undisclosed number of Tencent shares in the open market to pay for an open-ended buy-back plan by the company and its majority owner Naspers, according to stock exchange filings. Prosus, a tech investment group also listed in Johannesburg, owns 28.8% of Tencent, valued at HK$1.05 trillion ($133.4 billion) according to the latest market price.
The expected daily sale will represent “a small percentage” of average daily traded volume, Tencent said. Assuming Prosus and its parent Naspers had bought back their shares within European regulatory limits, the sale of Tencent stake would only amount to 3 to 5% of its average daily trading volume, it added.