Tencent’s stellar share rally sees it surpass Facebook in market value

HONG KONG (Reuters) – Tencent Holdings Ltd (0700.HK) has racked up some impressive gains this week – becoming the first Chinese firm to be worth more than $500 billion and surpassing Facebook (FB.O) to be the world’s fifth-most valuable company.

FILE PHOTO: Visitors use their smartphones underneath the logo of Tencent at the Global Mobile Internet Conference in Beijing May 6, 2014. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo

Earnings for China’s biggest social network and gaming firm have surged on the popularity of its smartphone games led by titles such as Honour of Kings – a fantasy role-playing game, which has as many active players as the population of Germany.

Also driving earnings has been its messaging-to-payment superapp WeChat which has amassed 980 million monthly active users, with 38 billion messages sent daily, while its Youtube equivalent, Tencent Video, has become the video streaming service with the largest paying subscriber base in China.

That success has helped Tencent’s stock more than double this year, making it Asia’s most valuable company worth $522 billion on Tuesday and easily outpacing a 36 percent rise in the benchmark Hang Seng Index .HSI.

That beat Facebook’s market value on Monday of $519 billion. Only Apple Inc (AAPL.O) with a market capitalisation of about $873 billion followed by Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O), Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) and Amazon (AMZN.O) are worth more.

Led by Chinese billionaire Pony Ma, Tencent this month reported a better-than-expected 69 percent rise in third-quarter net profit.

Facebook logo is seen at a start-up companies gathering at Paris’ Station F in Paris, France, January 17, 2017. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer – RC1F2BC5E4F0

“Tencent’s high growth, as demonstrated by its quarterly results, has supported the rally in its shares,” said Steven Leung, a sales director at UOB Kay Hian.

“Since the company has been able to deliver with its earnings, the stock is still worth holding onto despite its current high…

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