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Business News/ News / World/  Elon Musk says ‘will not sell’ more Tesla stock for another 2 years
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Elon Musk says ‘will not sell’ more Tesla stock for another 2 years

Shares of Tesla rose 3 percent to $129.23 in after-hours trading on Thursday following an 8.9 percent drop in regular trading hours.

Twitter chief Elon Musk (Image: Reuters)Premium
Twitter chief Elon Musk (Image: Reuters)

Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk said on Thursday said that he will not sell any more Tesla shares for about two years.

While speaking in a Twitter Spaces audio chat, Musk said he foresees the economy will be in a "serious recession" in 2023 and demand for big-ticket items will be lower.

"I won't sell stock until I don't know probably two years from now. Definitely not next year under any circumstances and probably not the year thereafter," Musk said.

Shares of Tesla rose 3 percent to $129.23 in after-hours trading on Thursday following an 8.9 percent drop in regular trading hours.

Recently a Bloomberg report stated that Musk's net worth  tumbled $7.7 billion on Tuesday after Tesla Inc. shares had their steepest one-day loss since October.

According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, the Tesla chief executive officer’s net worth is now $147.7 billion, the lowest in more than two years. His fortune is primarily comprised of Tesla stock and options. The automaker’s spiraling shares pose a particular risk for Musk, 51, who leveraged more of his position to finance his acquisition of Twitter in October.

On 15 December, Musk sold shares worth about $3.58 billion, a US securities filing showed. According to the filing, Musk had sold 22 million shares of the electric-vehicle maker. As per the filing, he sold the stocks between three day from 12-15 December.

Prior to that, on 9 December, he had sold 19.5 million shares of the electric vehicle maker worth $3.95 billion days after he completed the $44 billion takeover of Twitter Inc.

Musk had previously made promises about not selling Tesla stock before subsequently selling it. Last week, Musk disclosed another $3.6 billion in stock sales, taking his total near $40 billion since late last year and frustrating investors as the company's shares wallow at over two-year lows.

"I needed to sell some stock to make sure, like, there's powder dry...to account for a worst case scenario," the billionaire said.

He said Tesla's board is open to share buyback, but that will depend on the scale of a recession.

On Thursday, Tesla stocks plunged 9 percent, after Tesla started to offer deep, $7,500 discounts to U.S. consumers, fueling investor concerns about softening demand as the economy slows.

"I think there is going to be some macro drama that's higher than people currently think," he said, adding that homes and cars will get "disproportionately impacted" by economic conditions.

Musk said that Tesla is close to picking the location of its new "Gigafactory." Tesla could announce the construction of a "Gigafactory" in the northern Mexican state of Nuevo Leon as soon as Friday, with an initial investment of between $800 million and $1 billion, local newspaper Reforma reported on Monday.

Asked whether he would bring in someone such as venture capitalist David Sacks to run Twitter to allow him to focus on Tesla, Musk dodged the question and said Twitter was a relatively simple business.

"(Twitter) is maybe 10% of the complexity of Tesla," Musk said.

Musk said earlier this week that he will step down as chief executive of Twitter once he finds "someone foolish enough to take the job."

In response to concerns that his political views and controversial comments are alienating some people, he said, "I am not going to like sort of suppress my views just to boost the stock price."

Musk has increasingly used Twitter's live audio platform to weigh in on his product and strategic decisions at the social media company he took private in October in a $44 billion deal.

(With inputs from Reuters)

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Published: 23 Dec 2022, 10:38 AM IST
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