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Tencent raises nearly $6bn in bond sale

Funds marked for general corporate use despite having $20 billion cash on hand

Chinese gaming giant Tencent has revealed today a bond sale worth almost $6 billion.

In a statement dated Wednesday US time, the firm announced the notes would be issued on April 11.

According to Bloomberg, Tencent has roughly $20 billion cash on hand and has raised this money in order to retire old debts and general corporate purposes.

The sale sees Tencent utilise approximately $15 billion of bond debt through the programme. Earlier this week it announced it would increased its Global Medium Term Note Programme limit to $20 billion from $10 billion.

Reuters reports Refinitiv data showing the Tencent sale is the largest in Asia this year.

Tencent had a rough 2018 after the Chinese government froze the game approval process for nine months. Gaming is Tencent's largest segment -- accounting for roughly 30% to 40% of its total business -- and the freeze resulted in $127 billion being wiped from the company's market value.

Despite this, in 2018 the company still saw revenues grow by 32% year-on-year, reaching $46 billion, with profit up 10% to $12 billion. Tencent is valued at approximately $446 billion.

Since bottoming out in October last year -- reaching its lowest point since May 2017 -- Tencent's share price has risen 48.%, and by 21.9% year-to-date.

While it's legacy titles such as League of Legends and Honor of Kings proved reliable money-spinners for the firm, it has still yet to receive monetisation licences in China for either Fortnite or PUBG Mobile.

"It is hard to say whether PUBG or Fortnite will be told yes or no for a license in China any time soon, and harder to say the underlying reasons for the continued delay, apart from the backlog in licensing from the nine month hiatus in 2018, and from the unofficial block of consumer products from Korea relating to political issues of two years ago," Niko Partners managing partner Lisa Cosmas Hanson recently told GamesIndustry.biz.

However, since restarting the approval process the Chinese government has approved a number of new Tencent games, including Dragon Raja, top-grossing Perfect World, and a licensed Game of Thrones title.

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