Tencent to Give $16.4-Billion JD.com Stake to Shareholders as Dividend

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Chinese language gaming and social media firm Tencent will hand a $16.4 billion (roughly Rs. 1,23,570 crore) JD.com stake as a dividend to its shareholders, weakening its ties to the e-commerce agency, and elevating questions on its plans for different holdings.

Tencent mentioned on Thursday it can distribute HKD 127.69 billion (roughly Rs. 1,23,370 crore) price of its JD.com stake to shareholders, slashing its holding in China’s second-biggest e-commerce firm to 2.3 p.c from round 17 p.c now and shedding its spot as JD.com’s greatest shareholder to Walmart.

The divestment transfer comes as Beijing leads a broad regulatory crackdown on expertise companies, taking purpose at their abroad progress ambitions and focus of market energy in China.

Tencent, which first invested in JD.com in 2014, mentioned it was the best time to switch its stake given the e-commerce agency has reached a stage the place it will probably self-finance its progress.

“This appears to be a continuation of the idea of bringing down the walled gardens and rising competitors among the many tech giants by weakening partnerships, exclusivity and different preparations which weaken aggressive pressures,” mentioned Mio Kato, a LightStream Analysis analyst who publishes on Smartkarma.

“It might have implications for issues just like the funds market the place Tencent’s relationships with Pinduoduo and JD have helped it preserve some competitiveness with Alipay in our view,” he mentioned.

JD.com shares plunged 11.2 p.c in early commerce in Hong Kong on Thursday, the most important each day share decline since its debut within the metropolis in June 2020, whereas Tencent shares rose 5.7 p.c.

The businesses mentioned they might proceed to have a enterprise relationship, together with an ongoing strategic partnership settlement, although Tencent Government Director and President Martin Lau will step down from JD.com’s board instantly.

Eligible Tencent shareholders will likely be entitled to at least one share of JD.com for each 21 shares they maintain.

Tencent, the proprietor of WeChat, selected to distribute the shares as a dividend quite than promote them available on the market in an try to keep away from a steep fall in JD.com’s share worth in addition to a excessive tax invoice, an individual with information of the matter advised Reuters.

“For JD, the impression is certainly damaging,” mentioned Kenny Ng, an analyst at Everbright Solar Hung Kai.

“Though Tencent’s discount of JD’s holdings might not have a lot impression on JD’s precise enterprise, when the shares are transferred from Tencent to Tencent’s shareholders, the probabilities of Tencent’s shareholders promoting JD’s shares as dividends will improve.”

Traders and analysts mentioned the distribution of the JD.com stake raised the prospect that Tencent’s investments in e-commerce firm Pinduoduo and meals supply big Meituan may be divested amid regulatory stress to scale down.

Tencent has no plans to exit these investments as a result of they aren’t as well-developed, the particular person with information of the matter mentioned.

Funds processor Alipay is a part of Tencent rival Alibaba Group.

© Thomson Reuters 2020



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