Alibaba’s Jack Ma sells $ 9.6 billion worth of shares, stake drops to 4.8%

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FILE PHOTO – Jack Ma, founder and executive chairman of the Chinese group Alibaba, speaks in front of a photo of the SoftBank human robot named “pepper” during a press conference in Chiba, Japan, June 18, 2015. REUTERS / Yuya Shino / File Image

SHANGHAI (Reuters) – Alibaba Group Holding Ltd co-founder Jack Ma has cut its stake in the company in the past year to 4.8% from 6.4%, collecting about $ 9.6 billion in its current course, the company’s annual file released Friday. shown.

The divestment came when Ma retired as executive chairman of the Chinese e-commerce company in September and retired from his formal trading roles to focus on philanthropy.

Alibaba did not disclose the average sale price for its divestment. Its stock price has increased by about 40% since Ma announced its 6.4% stake in the company a year ago.

The stock’s exceptional performance was helped by higher-than-expected earnings growth, even though the Chinese economy is slowing sharply, as more and more people buy essential items online due to the COVID pandemic- 19.

Alibaba’s executive vice president Joseph Tsai also reduced his stake in the company over the same period from 2.3% to 1.6%. Friday, the unloaded shares were worth $ 4.1 billion.

Ma and Tsai have been less and less involved in Alibaba’s regular operations since Daniel Zhang was announced as Ma’s successor as president of the company. He officially assumed this role in September 2019.

Throughout this year, the two have donated millions of units of personal protective equipment (PPE) through their individual charity arms to hospitals around the world to help combat the spread of COVID-19.

A file filed in April 2019 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said that Ma planned to sell up to 21 million shares within a year to support its philanthropic efforts.

Josh Horwitz report; Editing by Miyoung Kim and Christopher Cushing

Our standards:Principles of the Thomson Reuters Trust.

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