Temasek Cuts Stake in Alibaba After Rally, Adds Gilead Sciences
Temasek Holdings sold shares in Alibaba Group Holding in the fourth quarter as the Chinese Internet firm’s shares rallied following its initial public offering, and put more money into pharmaceuticals maker Gilead Sciences.
Singapore’s state-owned investment firm sold 7.3 million American depositary receipts in Alibaba, leaving it with 10.7 million shares, according to a Feb. 13 filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The value of its holding in Alibaba declined by $487.5 million, the biggest decrease among the firm’s US-listed holdings.
“They must have made about $300 million through that sale,” said Enrico Soddu, an analyst at Institutional Investor’s Sovereign Wealth Center in London. “When everyone was buying, they were selling.”
Alibaba shares have been declining after reaching a record $120 in November, paring their post-IPO return to 31 percent. The company, founded by billionaire Jack Ma, raised $25 billion in the largest initial public offering in history on Sept. 18, when it sold its shares for $68 each.
The sale is not a vote against the company as Temasek still owns a sizable stake in Alibaba, Soddu said.
Temasek also holds Alibaba shares through a unit called Seatown Holdings, which reported owning 7.45 million ADRs at the end of the fourth quarter. That stake was unchanged from the previous quarter.
Temasek had invested S$50 million ($37 million) in Alibaba in its fiscal year ended March 2011, it said in that year’s annual report. It was one of the investors that agreed to buy as much as $1.6 billion stock from Alibaba employees, people familiar with the matter said in September 2011.
Singapore’s investment firm was also among buyers when Alibaba repurchased shares from Yahoo! Inc. in 2012 through transactions valued at $7.6 billion and sold them partly to existing shareholders.
Temasek hasn’t disclosed the amount of its holdings in Alibaba’s China registered shares. The ADRs it got through the IPO are converted from its holdings in those shares.
Money managers who oversee more than $100 million in equities must file a Form 13F with the SEC within 45 days of each quarter’s end to show their US-listed stocks, options and convertible bonds. The filings don’t show non-US securities or how much cash the firms hold.
“The section 13F filing is part of our normal process of filing with the US SEC for our market holdings in the US, as well as those of our subsidiaries, even those that are independently managed and operated,” Temasek spokesman Stephen Forshaw said in an e-mailed statement. “Movements in shareholdings reflect the normal rebalancing of our portfolio that we undertake from time to time.”
Temasek has increased investments in consumer, technology and health-care companies as it becomes less reliant on financial assets. The value of its overall holdings rose 3.7 percent to a record S$223 billion in the 12 months to March 31 from the previous year, while total shareholder return, including dividends, declined to 1.5 percent from 8.9 percent, it said in July.
Temasek increased its stake in pharmaceuticals maker Gilead Sciences by 7.8 million shares to 20.6 million shares, helping increase the value of its stake by $584 million during the quarter, the filing shows.
Singapore’s state-owned investment firm first bought Gilead shares in the fourth quarter of 2013, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The stock has gained about 35 percent since the end of that quarter.
Temasek sold about 8 million shares in US phosphate fertilizer producer Mosaic Company in last year’s fourth quarter, reducing its stake to 7.8 million shares at the end of December, according to the filing.
The investment firm is the ninth-biggest state investor with an estimated $177 billion of assets, according to the website of Institutional Investor’s Sovereign Wealth Center. Temasek has stakes in Industrial & Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank Corporation and Bank of China valued at $20 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
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