Naspers’s quixotic mission to become a leading global e-commerce player continues unabatedly at a time when the JSE’s blue-chip top 40 has become increasingly dependent on the market heavyweight for its daily fix. On Monday, Naspers contributed more than half of the 306-point move among the top 40, which recorded gains for the first time in more than a week. When its 34% Chinese Tencent investment makes gains on the Hong Kong market, you may be certain that Naspers will gain on that day, with a weaker rand an added booster. But also certain, alarmingly so, is Naspers’s market rating at a price:earnings ratio of 100. Moody’s, however, in its rating of the group’s new $1bn bond to one notch above junk last week, has no fear that Naspers will default, though it does note that Tencent and execution risks with its e-commerce strategy are constraints. Operational issues remain in focus. After spending $4bn on e-commerce growth in the past four years, losses amounted to $731m at end-March,...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as articles from our international business news partners; ProfileData financial data; and digital access to the Sunday Times and Sunday Times Daily.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.



Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@businesslive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now