Naspers associate to pay out special dividend

Naspers’s Russian associate, Mail.ru, plans to pay US899 million in special dividends next month after reducing its stake in Facebook and exiting investments in Groupon and Zynga, Business Day reported on Wednesday.

“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, will pay investors US4.30 a share as of March 20, the Moscow-based company said on Tuesday.

Net income rose 37 percent last year to 8.5 billion roubles (US278m), Mail.ru said.

Revenue jumped 39 percent to 21.2 billion roubles, led by paid additional services in social networks and games.

Mail.ru sold a stake in Facebook for about US320m in October, reducing its holding. It currently stands at about 0.6 percent according to Mail.ru. It also fully disposed of 4.1 percent ownership in e-commerce operator Groupon and a 1.2 percent stake in game developer Zynga during the fourth quarter.

The company said it expected a revenue growth of 25 percent to 28 percent this year, according to the Bloomberg report used.

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Naspers associate to pay out special dividend