Prosus, a subsidiary of Naspers, appears to have a larger market cap than its parent company, at least according to a rudimentary Google search. Is it possible a subsidiary would have a larger market cap than the parent company? Links to where I am seeing this info is below:


Naspers Limited

Adding screenshots:

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  • 11
    Note that Naspers does not own 100% of Prosus.
    – Flux
    Jul 22, 2021 at 13:34
  • 1
    Please add screenshots of the Google links. The contents of those links are apparently location-dependent. Depending on where you live, US OTC ADR stock quotes could be shown instead of Johannesburg Stock Exchange and Euronext Amsterdam stock quotes.
    – Flux
    Jul 22, 2021 at 13:48
  • 1
    Thank you for the screenshots. This is what I see when I click on the Google links: Naspers Limited, Prosus NV. I see the Johannesburg and Amsterdam quotes instead of the US OTC quotes.
    – Flux
    Jul 22, 2021 at 15:19
  • Also, there's been a buyback from Prosus into Naspers that I think is related to this. That happened recently: naspers.com/news/…
    – user110973
    Aug 2, 2021 at 14:18

2 Answers 2


The market capitalization of Naspers is approximately 1.3 trillion ZAR, which is equivalent to approximately 75 billion EUR.

The market capitalization of Prosus is approximately 130 billion EUR.

If not mistaken, Naspers owns about 70% of Prosus, so Naspers' stake in Prosus is worth about 90 billion EUR. Naspers' stake in Prosus is worth more than Naspers' market capitalization. There is a discrepancy of 15 billion EUR.

This discrepancy is called a "negative stub value". A historical US example of this is the spin-off of Palm, Inc. from 3Com Corporation in 2000, which also had a negative stub value in the billions of dollars.

The creation of Prosus itself was motivated by Naspers' negative stub value from Naspers' stake in Tencent. It appears that the creation of Prosus has not really solved their negative stub value problem so far.

So yes, it is possible for a parent company's stake in a subsidiary to be worth more than the market capitalization of the parent company. The situation could be persistent if it is difficult for market participants to conduct arbitrage to remove the discrepancy.

Further reading: Limited Arbitrage in Equity Markets by Mark Mitchell, Todd Pulvino and Erik Stafford examines the difficulties in arbitraging 82 negative stub value situations between 1985 and 2000.

  • 4
    +1 for remembering Palm Pilot being spun off from 3Com. Jul 22, 2021 at 14:11
  • 16
    Can't a parent company also have negative assets (e.g. debts and liabilities) rather than this being a discrepancy? Jul 22, 2021 at 22:03
  • 1
    "sometimes the optimists go crazy, and things get overpriced.""
    – user12515
    Jul 23, 2021 at 16:46
  • @JackAidley: I know nothing about the specific companies involved here, but I would be rather surprised if they actually held 15 billion EUR of real, on-paper debts and liabilities (minus assets). That is a very large amount of money, and I can't imagine someone giving them such a huge loan when they don't have corresponding assets to use as collateral. But since I don't know what this company is or what it does, it's possible this is a side effect of COVID or something?
    – Kevin
    Jul 23, 2021 at 17:17
  • I believe this also briefly happened when Yahoo!'s stake in Alibaba was worth more than 100% of YHOO's market cap Jul 23, 2021 at 18:22

Yes this is possible as market cap is just #stock * $stock. The market cap does not necessarily have anything to do with the underlying assets (Compare Tesla with Volkswagen for example) , even though it definetly should.

For an example: The Porsche SE(not to be confused with Porsche Holding) has a market cap of 28.6B Euro and holds 31.4%(with 50+% voting rights) of the Volkswagen group with a market cap of 126.4B Euro. 31.4% of 126.4B Euro are 39.6B Euro.

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