Markets

Saudi Arabia fund dumped nearly all of its Tesla shares in the fourth quarter before the rally

Key Points
  • The Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund now holds just about 39,000 shares of the stock after selling 99.5% of its holding.
  • The fund held more than 8.2 million shares by the end of the third quarter of 2019, which would have been worth more than $7 billion at Tuesday's price.
  • The fund missed out on Tesla's massive rally in the new year. Shares of the electric-car maker soared 13% to about $887 on Tuesday, bringing its 2020 gains to more than 110%.
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The Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund in the fourth quarter of last year dumped nearly all the shares of Tesla it owned, missing out on a big windfall, a new filing Tuesday revealed.

The fund now holds about 39,000 shares of the stock after selling 99.5% of its holding last year, according to InsiderScore.com and public filings. The fund held more than 8.2 million shares by the end of the third quarter of 2019, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Those shares would be worth more than $7 billion at Tesla's price Tuesday.

The selling by the end of fourth quarter means the fund missed out on Tesla's massive rally in the new year. Shares of the electric-car maker soared 13% to about $887 on Tuesday, bringing its 2020 gains to more than 110%.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk presented the first batch of made-in-China cars to ordinary buyers on January 7, 2020 in a milestone for the company's new Shanghai "giga-factory", but which comes as sales decelerate in the world's largest electric-vehicle market.
STR

Before the latest sale, the sovereign wealth fund had dramatically cut its net exposure to Tesla stock in early 2019 after CEO Elon Musk settled fraud charges with the SEC over the claim to take his company private.

Tesla's epic run recently has been fueled by analysts raising price targets to catch up to the stock and short covering by investors betting against the shares. Musk's Tesla has more investors betting against the company than any other U.S. stock, according to S3 Partners. Short sellers have lost more than $8 billion since the beginning of the year, S3 said.

The company's rapid rally has pushed its market capitalization above $160 billion, which tops Netflix's $157 billion market cap.

Investors turned more bullish after the company reported deliveries of 112,000 vehicles globally during the fourth quarter, a personal best for Tesla. That number significantly topped Wall Street estimates, and hit the low end of Musk's year-end sales goal.

Correction: The Saudi Arabia Public Investment Fund now holds about 39,000 shares of Tesla after selling 99.5% of its holding last year, according to InsiderScore.com and public filings. An earlier version misstated the number of shares.