Asian Tech Press reported that Naspers is in discussions with a CITIC-led consortium to sell all its Tencent shares.
CITIC, formerly the China International Trust Investment Corporation (CITIC), is a state-owned investment company of the People’s Republic of China.
It is China’s biggest state-run conglomerate with one of the world’s largest pools of foreign assets, including businesses in financial services and manufacturing.
According to Asian Tech Press, CITIC is looking to take a controlling stake in Tencent, which is seen as a strategic asset.
The report comes amidst a share repurchase programme by Naspers and Prosus, where they are selling Tencent shares and buying back Naspers and Prosus shares.
The programme is designed to increase net asset value per share, taking advantage of Prosus’s and Naspers’s trading discounts to their underlying net asset value.
The repurchase programme is open-ended and will run as long as elevated levels of the trading discount to the group’s underlying net asset value persist.
Naspers was up 8% on Monday, which analysts said was partly a result of the rumoured discussions to sell its Tencent stake.
Should such a sale proceed, it could result in a value unlock for Naspers and Prosus shareholders.
Willem Oldewage from Nitrogen Fund Managers highlighted that the discussions are only a rumour at this stage.
Deryck Janse van Rensburg from Anchor said if there were any serious intent, Naspers would have communicated it with the market.
“It is just a rumour at this stage, but it could account for some of the Naspers share price increase today,” he said.
Daily Investor asked Naspers for comment, but the company said it won’t be commenting on this issue.