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Tencent's terrible quarter spells more pain for emerging funds

Sep 28 2018 15:38
Sofia Horta e Costa, Bloomberg

Tencent is turning into a serious drag for emerging-market investors.

The stock has tumbled 18% since June, its worst performance relative to an index of global technology companies since it started trading in 2004.

The biggest stock in Asia - and one which 48 analysts recommend buying - extended its decline on Friday even as the MSCI World Information Technology Index headed for its seventh consecutive quarterly gain.

Tencent’s fall from grace has turned it into the world’s most disappointing stock trade this year, contributing to almost half of the Hang Seng Index’s decline in the third quarter. Because of its size and rally in 2017, it features in more than half of all emerging-market equity portfolios, and those who own it have an average 5.2% exposure, according to eVestment data as of June. That makes Tencent their largest position, the data show.

The Chinese company’s shares were weighed down by its first profit drop in at least a decade, revoked licences and a significant regulatory wall in the country.

One potential beneficiary of outflows from Tencent is Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, which has the second-largest weighting on MSCI’s emerging market index. The chipmaker surged 21% in its best quarter since 2003.

* Fin24's parent company Media24 is part of the Naspers Group. Naspers owns a stake in Tencent.

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