(Yicai Global) March 23 -- Shares in China's largest tech firm by market cap, Tencent Holdings Ltd., had dived by 4.4 percent as of 1.08 p.m. after its biggest shareholder, South African media group Naspers Ltd., sold off 2 percent of the company's stock this morning.
The drop follows a 2.7-percent fall yesterday after Naspers issued a statement expressing its intention to sell 190 million shares in Tencent, worth HKD83.5 billion (USD10.6 billion). The move cuts its stake in the Shenzhen-based tech behemoth to 31.2 percent, still more than triple the size of founder Pony Ma's holdings.
The media group and television service provider invested USD32 million in Tencent in 2001, long before its rise to fame. The investment was worth USD175 billion before the sale, even though Naspers, which is Africa's most valuable company, has a market cap of just USD120 billion.
"The funds will be used to reinforce Naspers' balance sheet," the firm said when announcing the plans. "And will be invested over time to accelerate the growth of Naspers' classifieds, online food delivery and fintech businesses globally, and to pursue other exciting growth opportunities when they arise."
Naspers has no plans to sell more shares within the next three years as it has a long-term belief in Tencent's business, it added. This marks the first time the company has sold its shares in Tencent. Its initial investment earned it a 46.5-percent stake, but equity expansion has diluted its holdings.