SHARES in Naspers, South Africa’s biggest firm by value, surged past R2 000 for the first time yesterday, lifted by the rising fortunes of China’s Tencent Holdings in which it holds a minority stake.
Shares in the media and e-commerce firm jumped 4.37 percent to a record R2 029.97, having gained about 90 percent over the last 12 months tracking gains in money-spinner Tencent whose stock has rocketed 52 percent so far this year.
Naspers closed up 1.8 percent at R1 980 yesterday.
Naspers holds a 34 percent stake in Tencent – one of China’s largest internet firms – that is worth almost the entire R800 billion market value of the South African company.
“What you’re seeing in Naspers is, the majority of it, about what is happening to the Tencent stock,” Owen Nkomo at Inkunzi Investments said.
Some analysts said the share price could make the stock illiquid, locking out retail investors. For its part, Tencent hit a market cap of more than $200bn (R2.4 trillion) for the first time, rising 5.38 percent to close at HK$170.50 (R263.52) as Hong Kong stocks hit fresh seven-year highs yesterday as mutual funds piled into stocks.
Some investors said Naspers could lose steam because Tencent, which accounted for the bulk of its recent half-year earnings, was over valued. “You’ll need a lot of growth from Tencent to justify Naspers valuation,” Victor von Reiche, a senior investment analyst at Cannon Asset Managers, said.