HILARY JOFFE: Like Gulliver in Lilliput, Naspers is too big for the neighbourhood
Everyone should have Naspers's troubles. The share is up 33% for the year to date while the JSE's all share index is down 5%. Its Amsterdam-listed subsidiary Prosus is up 20% against that market's 10% decline. The global consumer internet group has made a lot of money for its shareholders. It could have made them a lot more had it been able to narrow the discount at which the shares trade to the sum of its underlying parts. But more than a year after the complex deal in which Naspers listed 73%-held Prosus, the discount is worse than ever, with the Naspers share this week trading at a 53% discount and Prosus at 34%.
What's more, the creation of Prosus to house Naspers's international assets has not solved the structural problem at the heart of the discount - Naspers's dominance of the JSE. The share's huge outperformance has seen it jump to well over 25% of the value of the JSE's Swix index, from the low of around 18% to which it fell at the time of last year's listing.