Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Russian Billionaire Dumps Apple, Facebook for Alibaba

March 18th, 3:35 pm
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Billionaire Alisher Usmanov reportedly has sold shares in Apple Inc. (AAPL) and Facebook Inc. (FB) to focus on Alibaba and other tech investments in China.

The Bloomberg Billionaires Index pegs Usmanov as Russia’s richest man, who got his start in the iron ore business and built his empire by acquisitions. Last year he bought a stake of about $100 million in Apple last year, but sold it recently. And he had been gradually reducing his stake in Facebook, first acquired in 2009.

Though it has been in the works for year, Alibaba is expected to file for an initial public offering (IPO) in the United States as soon as next month. Alibaba is China’s largest e-commerce site and has been compared to both Amazon.com (AMZN) and eBay Inc. (EBAY). It topped our list of the top 10 IPOs for this year. The company may be valued at $120 billion. Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) has a 24% stake in Alibaba.

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Chinese online retailer JD.com, which Usmanov is also interest in may file for an IPO next quarter and be valued at more than $20 billion.

Besides China, Russia’s largest trading partner, Usmanov reportedly also may expand his stakes in Russian assets. Stocks of Russian companies traded in the United States got off to a strong start Tuesday, in what we called the Vladimir Putin Rally. And the Market Vectors Russia ETF (RSX) was up nearly 3% in early trading.

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