AMSTERDAM (Reuters) -Technology investment firm Prosus NV and its South African parent Naspers on Tuesday rejected as "untrue" a report that they are in talks to sell their large stake in Chinese software and gaming giant Tencent.
In a pre-market statement, Amsterdam-based Prosus said an article in Asian Tech Press citing unnamed sources saying that Naspers was in talks with a group of investors led by state-backed CITIC of China to sell its entire Tencent stake was "speculative and untrue".
Prosus holds a 28% stake in Tencent worth $70 billion at current prices. It has said it intends to sell the stake down gradually to fund a share repurchase program.
"The Naspers Board and Prosus Board reiterate their continued confidence in Tencent's long term prospects and continue to believe that the share repurchase programme is in the best interests of Prosus, Naspers and their respective shareholders," they said in a statement.
Tencent shares rose sharply on Friday, gaining 10% to $226.2 HKD. Naspers shares, which usually follow movements in Tencent, rose 8.7% in Johannesburg. The Amsterdam exchange was not yet open.
(Reporting by Toby Sterling; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Louise Heavens)