Tencent Says Meituan Stake-Sale Report Is Not Accurate
Food delivery giant Meituan rose in US trading after Tencent Holdings Ltd. Chief Strategy Officer James Mitchell said a report that the company intends to sell all or much of its $24 billion stake in the company was incorrect.
Reuters reported Tuesday that the social media giant has engaged financial advisers in recent months on ways to execute the sale of a roughly 17% stake, in order to appease state authorities that have been working to curb the influence of tech industry leaders.
The report “is not accurate,” Mitchell told analysts on a post-earnings conference call. Meituan shares in the US rose more than 3.5% in New York Wednesday.
Since last year Tencent has been disclosing plans to sell shares in investees such as e-commerce giant JD.com Inc., as Beijing punishes the country’s tech giants for anti-competitive behavior, including maintaining closed ecosystems that favor certain firms at the expense of others. The trend has weighed on the stocks of companies with Tencent ownership.
In Wednesday’s earnings report, the company reiterated a view expressed in the first quarter that the regulatory environment in China is becoming more supportive. Still, it reported its first-ever quarterly revenue decline after online advertising sales fell by a record, and the company has adopted a strategy of paring loss-making activities as it focuses on profitability.
The impact of Tencent’s denial on other investees was mixed. Internet giant Pinduoduo Inc. shares rose as much as 3.2% though has pared most of the gains to be 0.3% higher. Bilibili Inc., China’s largest anime-focused streaming site, and JD.com both declined more than 1%.
Authors: Jennifer Ryan, Yiqin Shen, Bloomberg