Naspers gains to month high on Russia unit, rand

Johannesburg - Naspers [JSE:NPN], Africa’s largest company by market value, climbed to the highest in a month after its Russian classified-ads unit reported a rise in revenue and the rand weakened, boosting the value of foreign earnings.

Shares of the Johannesburg-based media company rose as much as 2.9 percent before trading 1.9% higher at R2 041.69, valuing Naspers at R889.5bn. About 443 000 shares exchanged hands, or 35% of the three-month daily average.

Avito.ru, Russia’s biggest online classifieds website, of which Naspers owns 68%, said first-quarter revenue grew by 86% as page views increased. Shares of Tencent Holdings, Naspers’ Chinese Internet unit, gained 31% in Hong Kong on speculation its car-hailing service Didi Chuxing is raising about $3bn of funding, including a $1bn investment by Apple.

“Avito will probably, at the margin, help,” Jarrett Geldenhuys, an analyst at Investec Securities, said by phone from Johannesburg. “Also, there’s Apple coming to buy a stake in a taxi app which Tencent owns a small piece of.”

The rand weakened 1.1% to 15.5663 per dollar, boosting income for companies with earnings abroad. Naspers derives about 25% of revenue from its operations outside South Africa.

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