Naspers counts cost of Trump's trade war in Tencent sale
Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 slumped more than 4% while mainland China’s Shenzhen composite index fell 3.6% and the Shanghai composite index fell 3.3% on Friday, as Asian stocks reacted to the latest ructions from US President Donald Trump.
Besides unveiling his plans for a trade war with China, Trump fired his national security adviser, HR McMaster.
Trump appointed John Bolton as his third national security adviser. The first was Michael Flynn, who was fired after less than a month.
Among the casualties of Friday’s global stock market rout was Naspers, which ended up receiving HK$405 per Tencent share it placed, a 7.8% discount to Thursday’s HK$439.40 closing price.
The nearly 190-million shares Naspers placed amounted to HK$77bn, which was about R116bn at Friday morning’s exchange rate of R1.51 to the Hong Kong dollar — lower than the R125bn Naspers was estimated to receive on Thursday.
Friday will be a jittery day for South African markets as the country awaits Moody’s decision on whether to join S&P Global Ratings and Fitch in classifying rand-denominated government bonds as junk.
Several large funds, including the Citi world government bond index, exclude a country’s bonds if it is rated junk by all three of the major ratings agencies.
Punters appear confident SA will get a reprieve from Moody’s, with the rand trading at R11.85 to the dollar, R14.62 to the euro and R16.73 to the pound.
Logistics group Grindrod said on March 14 it expected to report on Friday that its headline loss for the year to end-December narrowed to R356m, an improvement of 23% from 2016’s R460m.
Grindrod said its continuing businesses — freight services and financial services — grew their headline earnings to R571m from R209m.
Included in the headline loss is an adjustment relating to its rail assembly business impairments, which was recorded in the 2016 results, the trading statement said.