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

Johannesburg - South Africa's stocks booked their highest close on record on Monday, as media group Naspers scaled new highs, propelled by a surge in Chinese internet company Tencent, in which it owns a third.

Shares of Transaction Capital rose 4.2 percent to 7.40 rand after the financial firm said it would pay out a special distribution of 210 cents a share to shareholders.

Sibanye Gold was another star performer, adding over 3 percent to 20.40 rand after it said its economically extractable reserves were around 46 percent above its previous estimate.

“Their life of mine profile is longer, so you can discount even more years of earnings into the share price, and that's the reason why it's been re-rated today,” said Mohammed Nalla, head of strategic research at Nedbank Capital.

The Top-40 index rose 0.92 percent to a record closing level of 42,478.88.

The wider All-share index finished the day 0.86 percent higher at 47,027.54, marking the second straight session of gains for the market.

Both indices are within easy range of their lifetime highs helped by renewed foreign interest on expectations the US Federal Reserve will not disrupt its gradual pace of monetary stimulus withdrawal.

Last week offshore investors were net buyers of 1.2 billion rand worth of South African shares, data from the Johannesburg Stock Exchange showed on Monday.

That is a reversal of the trend so far this year, as foreign investors remain net sellers of South African shares to the tune of 5.8 billion rand.

A consistent top domestic performer has been Naspers, which added 4.4 percent on Monday to 1,268.20 rand after hitting its highest point ever of 1,275 rand earlier in the day.

Tencent, China's largest internet company, which gained nearly 6 percent in Hong Kong on speculation it would take a 20 percent stake in Chinese restaurant-review site Dianping for $400 million to expand its social media empire beyond messaging, games and stickers.

Naspers' stake in Tencent has fuelled a record run in the South African company's share price, which is up nearly 16 percent already this year after more than doubling last year.

Advancers topped decliners 202 to 115, according to preliminary bourse data, while almost 177 million shares changed hands. - Reuters