(Bloomberg) — Tencent Holdings Ltd. denied a report it was considering selling down investments in companies from Meituan to KE Holdings Inc. to bankroll share buybacks and new businesses.
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The company has no need to raise funds nor a timeline for such divestments, a spokesperson said. Dow Jones had reported earlier on Tuesday that the WeChat operator recently completed a review of its worldwide portfolio, and identified companies such as Didi Global Inc. that it may sell down. Shares in real estate firm KE slid as much as 3.9% in pre-market trading in New York.
Tencent Chief Strategy Officer James Mitchell said last month that a Reuters report it intends to sell all or much of its stake in food delivery giant Meituan was incorrect.
But speculation that Tencent would unwind some of its vast portfolio has persisted. The company has long been expected to reduce some of its vast investments in companies around the globe over time, responding in part to political pressure.
Since last year, the Chinese giant has disclosed plans to sell shares in investees such as e-commerce giant JD.com Inc. and Sea Ltd., 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.
“We don’t have any target amounts for divestments. We have always invested with the goal of generating strong returns for our company and shareholders, not according to any arbitrary timeline or target,” a Tencent spokesperson said in a statement. The company hasn’t reached out to any investment banks regarding divestments, the spokesperson added.
(Updates with share action from the second paragraph)
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