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Tencent execs sell shares for own needs
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Tencent Holdings Ltd Chairman Ma Huateng and President Martin Lau sold company stock for "personal finance needs," spokeswoman Catherine Chan said in an e-mail yesterday.

Ma sold 11.85 million Tencent shares between November 20 and Tuesday, while Lau disposed of 200,000, the Shenzhen-based company said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange on Wednesday.

Tencent, China's biggest online chat-service provider, was added to Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index this year after outperforming the benchmark. The firm this month posted third-quarter profit that beat analysts' estimates as rising Internet use in the nation fueled demand for its messaging and online game services, Bloomberg News said.

Tencent rose 7.4 percent to close at HK$41.90 (US$5.40) in Hong Kong yesterday, reducing the stock's decline since November 19 to 6.9 percent, compared with a 5.7 percent gain in the Hang Seng Index in the same period.

Ma, who is also Tencent's founder and chief executive officer, was ranked the 32nd richest person in China on the Hurun Report's 2008 list of the nation's wealthiest people, with US$1.8 billion of estimated personal wealth. Baidu founder Robin Li was ranked the richest man in China's Internet industry, with an estimated US$2.4 billion.

Ma is the second-biggest shareholder in Tencent, with a 12.8 percent stake, according to the company's annual report in April. South Africa's Naspers Ltd is the largest investor in the Chinese firm, with 35.2 percent, it said.

Third-quarter profit rose 73 percent to 737.1 million yuan (US$108 million) as sales almost doubled to 2 billion yuan, Tencent said.

(Shanghai Daily November 28, 2008)

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