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Naspers plunges after Tencent hammered

Johannesburg - Shares of South African e-commerce firm Naspers headed toward their biggest one-day loss in 2-1/2 years on Friday, hit by a sell-off in China's Tencent Holdings, of which Naspers owns over a third.

Investors hammered Tencent after China's central bank ordered a halt to some mobile payment methods used by Internet companies, amid concerns over the security of their verification procedures.

Tencent headquarters at Nanshan Hi-Tech Industrial Park in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen. Credit: REUTERS

The move is seen as hitting the mobile payment businesses of Tencent, China's largest Internet company, and its smaller rivals.

Shares of Tencent fell as much as 7 percent in Hong Kong before closing down 4.1 percent.

The company's explosive growth in recent years has helped make Naspers the most valuable company with a primary listing in Johannesburg.

Shares of Naspers were down 5.8 percent at 1,211.75 rand at 11:00 SA time, making it the biggest drag on the benchmark Top-40 index and putting the stock on track for its biggest one-day loss since late 2011. - Reuters

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