The reception area of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. File picture: Leon Nicholas

Johannesburg - South Africa's main stock indices set record highs on Wednesday, led by a sharp rise in Naspers after the e-commerce firm's Chinese moneymaker shot past estimates with a record quarterly profit.

Naspers, which owns about a third of Tencent Holdings, added the most points to index, climbing 10.3 percent to 1,189.38 rand and booking its biggest daily percentage gain in 12 years.

“The main reason why investors are excited about Naspers has got to do with Tencent. Tencent shot the lights out with their results. It's all Tencent,” said Brendan Sacks, a trader at Nedbank Private Wealth said.

The rally in Naspers - which draws three quarters of its net asset value from its Tencent stake - helped pushed the main indices to record highs.

The JSE Top-40 index gained 1 percent to a record close of 44,526.20 and the broader All-share index was up 0.88 to 49,632.23 pulling back slightly from a record 49,668.46 set earlier.

Platinum producers hardly moved with Lonmin inching up 0.2 percent as some investors watched if the efforts to woo miners to end a 16-week strike over higher wages would be successful.

In earnings news, Mondi was up 0.8 percent to 181.44 rand after the paper maker reported higher quarterly profit.

An average of 197 million shares changed hands, according to preliminary bourse data.

A total of 180 shares advanced, 142 declined and 45 were unchanged. - Reuters