Investec has abandoned its plan to offload a 10% stake in its asset management business NinetyOne owing to the hit on stock markets heightened by the deadly coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak.

The stake sale offer was part of the listing of NinetyOne.

Investec will now retain a 25% holding in the asset management business, instead of the planned 15%.

Investec joint CEO Fani Titi said: “Market conditions have proved particularly challenging in the recent two weeks and, while we were encouraged by the strength and quality of investor engagement in relation to the Global Offer, we have decided to retain our shareholding in Ninety One.

“Importantly, the financial benefits of the demerger remain.”

However, Investec will continue with its existing plan to list and demerge NinetyOne.

The asset management business will be listed on the London as well as Johannesburg exchanges on March 16.

Investec first unveiled plans to spin-off its asset management business through a demerger last year, announcing that the business would be renamed as Ninety One.

NinetyOne confirmed its London and Johannesburg listing plans last month.

According to the plan, Investec shareholders would have a 55% interest in the asset management business while employees would have a 20% holding.

Investec joint CEO and Ninety One CEO Hendrik du Toit said: “Despite the recent market dislocation, we have been encouraged by the support from our shareholders and potential investors.

“We are confident in the resilience of our capital-light business model and its organically developed, specialist, active investment offerings.”