Mainland internet giant Tencent is awarding 14.93 million new shares to 7,068 employees in order to recognise their contribution and attract and retain talent. The company said in a notice to the Hong Kong stock exchange on Wednesday evening that its board resolved to issue the new shares under a 2013 award scheme. About 41.28 million shares have been awarded to 3,315 people under the scheme from August 2015 to June 2016, Tencent said in the notice. There remains 138.5 million award shares available under the scheme. The stock, which closed at HK$174.3 on Wednesday, rose 1.3 per cent to HK$176.60 in afternoon trade on Thursday. In a separate notice, Tencent said it granted 1,418,070 options to purchase the stock at a price of HK$174.86 per share under a 2007 option scheme. None of the options holders is a director, chief executive, or substantial shareholder or associate of the company, it said. Pay and bonuses at Tencent reached new heights last year as the highest-paid employee took home more than HK$274 million in compensation - beating out CK Hutchison Holding’s Canning Fok Kin-ning, who was paid HK$210 million, company reports show. Another Tencent employee earned between HK$210 million and HK$210.5 million, and two employed at a foreign subsidiary of Tencent took home between HK$183 million and HK$183.5 million. Tencent reported a total remuneration cost of 18.48 billion yuan in 2015 for its 30,641 employees, up from 15.45 billion yuan in 2014, when the company employed 27,690 people. Founder and Chairman Ma Huateng in April decreased his stake in the company from 8.86 per cent to 8.82 per cent, exchange filings show. The disposals represent a market value of HK$144.58 billion.