Johannesburg - Naspers's Russian associate, Mail.ru, plans
to pay $899m in special dividends next month after reducing its stake in
Facebook and exiting investments in Groupon and Zynga, Business Day reported on
"It's positive that the company decided to pay out
almost all cash from its balance sheet to shareholders instead of potentially
wasting it on acquisitions," said Konstantin Belov, an analyst at Ural-Sib
Capital in Moscow.
Mail.ru, controlled by Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov
and part-owned by China's Tencent Holdings and SA's Naspers [JSE:NPN], will pay
investors $4.30 a share as of March 20, the Moscow-based company said on
Net income rose 37% last year to 8.5 billion roubles
($278m), Mail.ru said.
Revenue jumped 39% to 21.2 billion roubles, led by paid
additional services in social networks and games.
Mail.ru sold a stake in Facebook for about $320m in October,
reducing its holding. It currently stands at about 0.6% according to Mail.ru.
It also fully disposed of 4.1% ownership in e-commerce operator Groupon and a
1.2% stake in game developer Zynga during the fourth quarter.
The company said it expected a revenue growth of 25% to 28%
this year, according to the Bloomberg report used.
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