Tue, 17 Sep 2019

Prosus, the new Naspers [JSE:NPN] international digital company, made a strong start to its first trading day in Amsterdam and Johannesburg on Wednesday morning.

It opened at 76 euro - 30% higher than the reference price issued by Naspers on Tuesday night. According to Bloomberg data, it was last trading at 74.05 euro. More than two million shares have traded hands.

Prosus has a secondary listing on the JSE, and started trading at R1 238.50 on Wednesday morning, before falling to R1 200 in the first few minutes of trade. There may be small differences in the Prosus share price in Amsterdam and the JSE, but all things being equal, the shares should trade in lock-step, says Matthew Stroucken, portfolio manager at Anchor.

Naspers will hold around 75% of Prosus (as well as Media24 and Takealot.com), while the rest of the shares - around 25% - were allotted to Naspers shareholders on Wednesday morning.

As its stake was unbundled, the Naspers share price lost 32% of its value to trade at R2,403,85 on Wednesday morning.

On Tuesday, a "reference price" of 58.70 euros (around R950) was fixed for the share. This valued the company at around 95 billion euros (R1.5 trillion).

"The price is merely the Naspers close price for (Tuesday), adjusted for FX [conversion from rand to euro] and divided by the shares outstanding of Prosus. It has no significance other than for the AEX to set its upper and lower circuit breakers," Naspers said in a note on Monday.

The AEX refers to the Amsterdam Exchange index, a stock market index composed of the companies that trade on Euronext bourse in Amsterdam. "Circuit breakers" are safety measures: the bourse will halt trading if the share breaks through these levels in a single day.

The Prosus listing follows years of frustration by investors with the massive discount between the Naspers share price and the value of its assets.

EXPLAINER: Naspers is listing Europe's biggest consumer internet firm today

Apart from its 31% stake in China's biggest online platform Tencent, Prosus owns shares in the global online selling platform OLX, Indian online food-delivery business Swiggy, Indian online travel site MakeMyTrip, the biggest online classifieds and property platform in Russia, Avito, and Russia's biggest internet company (with large gaming, social media and e-commerce businesses) mail.ru.

In South Africa, it owns AutoTrader and Property24.

It will be Europe's largest listed global consumer internet company, with more than 1.5 billion customers across 91 markets.

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