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Updated on: Thursday, November 11, 2021, 02:53 PM IST

Elon Musk sells $1.1 bn of Tesla shares after Twitter poll; first share sale since 2016

In his first share sale since 2016, Elon Musk's trust sold nearly 3.6 million shares in Tesla, worth around $4 billion, while he also sold another 934,000 share | File Photo

In his first share sale since 2016, Elon Musk's trust sold nearly 3.6 million shares in Tesla, worth around $4 billion, while he also sold another 934,000 share | File Photo

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Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk sold about $5 billion in shares, the billionaire reported in filings on Wednesday, just days after he polled Twitter users about selling 10 percent of his stake. In his first share sale since 2016, Musk's trust sold nearly 3.6 million shares in Tesla, worth around $4 billion, while he also sold another 934,000 share, for $1.1 billion after exercising options to acquire nearly 2.2 million shares.Reuters reported.

Last week, Musk asked his 62.5 million followers on Twitter if he should sell 10 per cent of his stock in Tesla, the electric-vehicle company, amid pressure in Washington to increase taxes on billionaires like him.

Lately, there has been a lot of talk about some of the richest people in the world not paying taxes; many of them have most of their wealth tied to stocks. Some Democrats have been pushing for these billionaires to pay taxes when the price of the stocks they hold goes up, even if they don't sell any shares. It's a concept called “unrealized gains,” and Musk is sitting on a lot of them with a net worth of roughly USD 300 billion, it is pointed out.

“Much is made lately of unrealized gains being a means of tax avoidance, so I propose selling 10 per cent of my Tesla stock,” Musk tweeted Saturday afternoon, re-injecting himself into the debate.

‘‘Do you support this?”

By 5:40 pm Eastern time, a little more than two hours after Musk's initial tweet, 54 per cent said yes out of a total of 876,189 votes.

Tesla shares closed 5% down after Musk declares he will sell 10% stock

Tesla shares closed Monday down nearly 5 percent after CEO Elon Musk said he would sell 10 percent of his holdings in the electric carmaker — more than $20 billion worth by most calculations — based on the results of a poll he conducted on Twitter over the weekend.

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According to analyst Daniel Ives of Wedbush Securities, Musk owns about 23 percent of Tesla's stock and has about $10 billion in taxes coming due on stock options that vest next summer.

Much of Musk's wealth is held in shares of Tesla, which does not pay him a cash salary. ''I only have stock, thus the only way for me to pay taxes personally is to sell stock,'' Musk tweeted.

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Published on: Thursday, November 11, 2021, 10:47 AM IST
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