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Temasek cut Alibaba stake in fourth quarter after shares gained

Temasek Holdings Pte cut its stake in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. in the fourth quarter as the biggest Chinese e-commerce company's shares rallied.

[SINGAPORE] Temasek Holdings Pte cut its stake in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. in the fourth quarter as the biggest Chinese e-commerce company's shares rallied.

Singapore's state-owned investment firm sold 548,769 American depositary receipts in Alibaba, leaving it with 47.5 million, according to a filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday. The value of the holding increased by US$1.03 billion as the shares gained 38 per cent in the period.

Temasek also increased its stakes in pharmaceuticals maker Gilead Sciences Inc by 1.4 million shares, and added 888,545 shares in BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc, a maker of therapeutic enzyme products.

Singapore's state-owned investment firm made several new acquisitions, buying 6.6 million shares in Synchrony Financial, 6.1 million ADRs in Chinese online retailer Inc. and 8.2 million ADRs in Chinese online travel company Tuniu Corp.

Temasek reduced its stake in medical service provider Quintiles Transnational Holdings Inc to 639,172 shares from 4.1 million, according to the filing. The shares declined 1.3 per cent in the fourth quarter after almost doubling since they were listed in May 2013.

Broader Strategy "Temasek is continuing its bet on technology and health care, which is part of their broader investment strategy," said Enrico Soddu, an analyst at Institutional Investor's Sovereign Wealth Center in London.

Alibaba shares fell to US$57.39 in September from a record high close of US$119.15 in November 2014. The company, founded by billionaire Jack Ma, raised US$25 billion in its US initial public offering in September 2014, selling stock for US$68 each.

Temasek first invested in Alibaba in the fiscal year ended March 2011, buying S$50 million (US$36 million) of the company's China registered shares. It later bought more stock from Alibaba employees, and boosted its holdings again in 2012 when Alibaba repurchased shares from Yahoo! Inc. and sold some to its existing shareholders. Temasek hasn't disclosed the amount of its holdings of the China registered shares.

The ADRs currently held by Temasek have been converted from its China registered shares.

Temasek also holds Alibaba ADRs through a unit called Seatown Holdings Pte, which cut its stake by 740,000 to 1.36 million in the fourth quarter, according to a separate filing earlier this month.

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 filings don't show non-US securities or how much cash the firms hold.

Temasek added 27.4 million shares in Amyris Inc, a maker of renewable products. The bulk of those shares seem to be from the exercise of a convertible bond, according to Soddu.