Tencent sells $6 billion in bonds, marking Asia's biggest sale this year

Tencent's headquarters in Shenzhen, China, pictured in August 2016.
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Chinese tech giant Tencent announced Thursday that it would issue bonds worth $6 billion.

The notes are expected to be issued on April 11, the company's board said in a statement dated Wednesday U.S. time, and they will bring in net proceeds of about $5.98 billion.

According to Reuters, Refinitiv data showed Tencent's sale was Asia's largest this year.

Tencent last tapped the dollar debt market in January 2018 when it issued $5 billion worth of bonds. On Monday, the Chinese firm flagged that it had increased its global bond offering program from $10 billion to $20 billion. It also proposed "to conduct an international offering" but did not specify a size.

The company had a rough 2018 after the Chinese government halted approvals of new video games early in the year. Games need to be approved by censors in order to be monetized in China. Gaming is a huge part of Tencent's business and the freeze in approvals caused over $127 billion of value to be wiped off its shares. Tencent also recently reported a 35 percent year-on-year decline in profit for the fourth quarter of 2018.

However, the company's shares have been marching higher and are up more than 19 percent year-to-date. China restarted game approvals in December.

On Tuesday, Chinese regulators approved a new batch of games, including a "Game of Thrones" title that Tencent will distribute.

Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are joint global coordinators for the bond sale.