Tencent raises whopping US$8.3b in offshore syndicated loan

Tencent has poured billions of dollars in recent years snapping up stakes in promising startups.
Tencent has poured billions of dollars in recent years snapping up stakes in promising startups.PHOTO: REUTERS

HONG KONG (BLOOMBERG) - Tencent Holdings, the creator of the messaging platform WeChat, has raised US$8.3 billion (S$11 billion) in the biggest offshore syndicated loan in Asia for a Chinese firm since 2016.

Twelve banks joined the Tencent financing deal, which initially had a US$6 billion size, according to people familiar with the matter. The loan will be used for general corporate purposes, the people said, asking not to be identified as they aren't authorized to speak publicly. Representatives for Tencent didn't immediately respond to requests for comment. IFR Asia earlier reported on the deal closing.

Tencent has poured billions of dollars in recent years snapping up stakes in promising startups, widening its reach in areas from social media to grocery delivery. It received a 1.3 billion euro (S$2.1 billion) loan last month to back its purchase of more shares in Universal Music Group International.

The latest loan is the largest foreign currency syndicated deal for a Chinese firm in Asia since 2016, when China National Chemical Corp raised US$12.7 billion, Bloomberg data show.

The deal comes amid a flurry of debt financings by tech giants, with Alibaba Group Holding issuing US$5 billion of bonds in early February and Chinese Internet search engine giant Baidu seeking what would be potentially its largest syndicated loan.