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KEY STAT | Pony Ma sold USD 550 million worth of Tencent shares in four days

Multiple investors rated Tencent as “buy” or “overweight” following a robust global gaming performance in May.

Tencent (HKEX: 0700)’s CEO and founder Pony Ma Huateng sold his shares of the company for the fourth consecutive trading day on June 12, totaling around USD 550 million, as the Hong Kong Stock Exchange records show.

Ma now holds an 8.42% stake in the social and entertainment giant he founded two decades ago. His stake is worth USD 45 billion at the company’s current market cap.

Driven by a boost in its gaming business, the Shenzhen-based company’s share price has increased by 31% in the last three months.

In the past few months, the COVID-19 outbreak has given game publishers a surprising boost in terms of user traffic, spending, and screen time. Tencent, the biggest game producer in China with a market share of nearly 52%, launched many new game features in its products in a bit to continue its growth momentum.

The strategy seems to have successfully saved the company’s declining gaming business: the gaming magnate claimed the crown as the most successful Chinese game publisher in May as PUBG Mobile, the company’s battle royale flagship, received huge popularity internationally with its new map features, said app data tracker AppAnnie.

Tencent’s Honor of Kings also grew its revenue in the past month, as Chinese players flushed to gameplay for their national Labor Day holiday.

The two games together brought in over USD 430.5 million in user spending, as per Sensor Tower.

JPMorgan rates Tencent shares “overweight” as it expects the company to enter its strongest game launch cycle since 2008 in the latest report, 36Kr reported.

Meanwhile, investment bank Jefferies Group expects Tencent’s gaming revenue to increase by 45% year-on-year, higher than the bank’s previous expectation of 34%, according to 36Kr.

In the first quarter of 2020, Tencent’s online games revenue grew 31% year-on-year to reach USD 5.2 million, contributed to 34% of the enterprise’s total revenue, per its earnings report.