Billionaire George Soros has dumped his entire shareholding in electric car maker Tesla.
His firm Soros Fund Management confirmed the sell-off in a U.S. securities and exchange commission filing, having likely benefited from the stock’s near 70 per cent resurgence in the first quarter of this year.
Following the announcement and impending media coverage around it, Tesla boss and fellow billionaire Elon Musk tweeted that “Soros reminds me of Magneto”, comparing the Hungarian investor to a fictional villain from Marvel’s X-Men universe.
Journalist Brian Krassenstein commented: “Magneto’s experiences during the Holocaust as a survivor shaped his perspective as well as his depth and empathy. Soros, also a Holocaust survivor, gets attacked nonstop for his good intentions which some Americans think are bad merely because they disagree with this political affiliations.”
Mr Musk responded and doubled down, stating: “You assume they are good intentions. They are not, he wants to erode the very fabric of civilisation. Soros hates humanity.”
According to the filing, Soros’ fund held only 132,000 shares or about US$22 million (A$33 million) in value, which is an almost insignificant amount given the over $125 million ($3 trillion in transactional daily value) Tesla shares trade every day.
Nevertheless, Musk’s reaction appears to be an almost personal one given the negative publicity garnered by Soros’ departure. That seems almost unfair, given Soros’ fund also dumped its shareholding in rival Rivian.
A large volume of Tesla’s institutional shareholders have also reportedly sold their shares in the electric carmaker over the last few months, no doubt as a result of a combination of its strong sales and financial results that led to a surge in its share price.
Soros has reportedly put some of that money to use elsewhere, with the fund’s filings showing new shares purchased in the likes of Walmart, Netflix, and Chinese e-commerce company JD.com during the same quarter.
We do have to wonder if Elon Musk sees Soros as Magneto, then does that make him Iron Man?