Temasek sold 7.3 million shares in Alibaba during rally

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 in September. -- PHOTO: ST FILE
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 in September. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

(Bloomberg) - 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 in September.

The Singapore investment firm sold 7.3 million American Depositary Receipts (ADR) in Alibaba, leaving it with 10.7 million shares, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The value of Temasek's holding in Alibaba declined by US$487.5 million (S$660 million), the biggest decrease among the firm's US-listed holdings.

"They must have made about US$300 million through that sale," said Mr Enrico Soddu, an analyst at Institutional Investor's Sovereign Wealth Centre in London.

Alibaba shares have been declining after reaching a record US$120 in November, paring their post-IPO return to 31 per cent.

The company, founded by billionaire Jack Ma, raised US$25 billion in the largest initial public offering in history on Sept 18, when it sold its shares for US$68 each.

The sale is not a vote against the company as Temasek still owns a sizeable stake in Alibaba, Mr Soddu said.

Temasek also holds Alibaba ADRs 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 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 US$1.6 billion of stock from Alibaba employees, people familiar with the matter said in September 2011.

Money managers who oversee more than US$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 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-mail statement.

"Movements in shareholdings reflect the normal rebalancing of our portfolio that we undertake from time to time."