China’s Tencent is raising $6 billion through a bond sale

Tencent, Asia’s largest tech firm, is raising $6 billion after the Hong Kong-listed firm announced a new note sale today.

Tencent last tapped the markets when it raised $5 billion in January 2018. This time around, it is offering a five-tranche bond that is almost in line with reports earlier this week, which speculated that the Chinese giant would look to raise $5 billion. The notes will be issued on April 11, Tencent said.

It isn’t clear how the new capital will be spent — Tencent didn’t include details in its announcement and the company had not responded to a request for comment at the time of writing.

“We have a strong balance sheet with significant cash position and a rich pool of listed securities. Going forward, we will continue to exercise discipline in our financial management and focus on maintaining the right balance between capital expenditure, investments and returns,” CFO John Lo said in a statement.

Tencent is most famous for WeChat, China’s go-to messaging app that has become the mobile internet in the country, in addition to its lucrative gaming business, as well fintech, cloud, social media and other verticals. It is also increasingly striking investment deals with companies outside of China, having backed the likes of Reddit, Snap and Tesla and a clutch of public Chinese businesses.

The company’s star rose to a peak at the end of 2017 when it became Asia’s first $500 billion company, but it has been a mixed journey since then. Tencent largely struggled to maintain its high standards last year as a Chinese government freeze on issuing new licenses for games cut into its money-making ability and left investors skittish.

There are positive signs in 2019, however. China’s game licensing process has resumed and the company returned to profit growth thanks to its investment in Meituan, which went public in a massive $4 billion IPO. A major reorganization was undertaken to lessen Tencent’s financial reliance on gaming and, while the most recent quarter disappointed overall, “emerging” business units like social media, cloud computing and fintech saw positive growth. The company’s stock price is up some 20 percent from the end of 2019, giving the firm a market cap of around $456 billion.