Flash Briefing: Prosus to sell Tencent shares; IMF optimistic; SA business confidence; Norway’s clean energy investment

  • Prosus has announced its intention to sell up to 191 million shares in Tencent reducing its stake to 28.9%. The company intends to use the proceeds to increase its financial flexibility and invest in growth. Prosus has committed not to sell any more Tencent shares for at least three years.  In a statement, Prosus Chair Koos Bekker said, “Tencent is one of the world’s best growth enterprises. It has consistently delivered value since listing in 2004. Prosus’ commitment to Tencent remains steadfast.”
  • The International Monetary Fund has revised its global growth expectation upwards for both this year and 2022. The 2021 GDP growth estimate is higher at 6%, while the estimate for next year has been increased to over 4%. The positivity is due to faster than expected growth in developed economies. The IMF’s growth estimates for almost all other countries including South Africa have also been revised higher suggesting that the global economy is adapting to the impact of Covid-19. In terms of the risks to the growth outlook, the biggest concern is the speed of vaccine distribution. Much still depends on the race between the virus and vaccines, writes Kevin Lings, Chief Economist at Stanlib.
  • A business confidence index compiled by the South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry fell in March. While the index average improved in the six months through March, compared with the preceding six months, it is important for authorities to address “policy certainty, structural impediments and low investment ratings that are still preventing the economy from breaking through the present impasse,” Sacci said.
  • Norway’s $1.3trn wealth fund has made its first investment in clean energy infrastructure. The world’s biggest sovereign investment vehicle has agreed to buy half of the Borssele 1 & 2 offshore wind farm from Orsted of Denmark. The deal is worth just under €1.4bn. This is the first time the fund has tapped the $14bn set aside for renewable energy acquisitions. Norway’s wealth fund will become a joint partner in generating enough energy annually to power roughly a million households in the Netherlands.

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