Social media giant Tencent gets into old-school finance
Tencent Holdings , China’s largest social media firm, is entering the traditional finance industry by investing in CICC International Capital Corporation, a move that may help the investment bank’s expansion in wealth management.
Shares of CICC jumped by a record after it said Tencent is paying HK$2.9 billion ($372 million) for roughly 5% of China’s oldest investment bank. The companies will team up on marketing and data analysis, according to an exchange filing.
CICC, once dubbed the Goldman Sachs of China after it brought some of the country’s largest state-run firms to market, has been reducing its dependence on volatile investment banking fees and expanding its business catering to rich individuals. It completed a $2.5 billion purchase of China Investment Securities Co this year, plunging into the retail investor market.
“Investors are buying into the fintech concept,” said Chi Man Wong, a Hong Kong-based analyst at China Galaxy Securities Co. CICC gained wealthy clients through the acquisition of China Investment, and Tencent’s investment “gives the firm lots of room to play with big data and financial technology. The whole strategy is consistent.”
Photo courtesy of Ted Lee.