Imagine if every international acquisition by a South African firm was a Tencent. Wouldn't it be nice? This week, the Chinese internet firm became more valuable than Facebook after surpassing the $500-billion (R6.9-trillion) mark. It pushed the value of 32.5%-shareholder Naspers to R1.75-trillion, or more than R4 000 a share, a gain of 83% for the share price over the past 12 months. That means the whole of Naspers trades at a discount to just its Tencent stake, which carries a market value of R2.2-trillion and implies the rump, which includes other global technology companies as well as the African media assets, is worth nothing - which is patently ridiculous. No other company in South African history has had its fortunes so dramatically altered by a single acquisition. It invested just $32-million in Tencent in 2001, when Naspers had all but pulled out of China after the dotcom bust, writing off hundreds of millions of rands in the process. But, after all the frog-kissing, one tur...

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