Elon Musk sells nearly $3.6 billion of Tesla stock this week

Making the total amount of sold Tesla stocks nearly $40 billion over the past year.
Ameya Paleja
Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk.
Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk.

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Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, has been on a selling spree of his company's stock this year. Earlier this week, Musk sold 22 million shares over a period of three days, a filing with the U.S. financial regulator has revealed, the BBC reported.

Musk, who rose to the top of the world's wealthiest people list last year riding on Tesla stock price, has spent most of 2022 dealing with this start-again-stop-again campaign to acquire Twitter. Musk, who was quite secretive about acquiring Twitter stock at the beginning of the year, shocked many by declaring his intent to buy out the social media company and take it private.

Musk's move came at a time when the U.S. Federal Bank began tightening its fiscal policy to rein in high inflation in the country, and the values of tech stocks began to fall. Musk's Tesla, which is an electric vehicle manufacturing company, is also bracketed with technology companies and has shed over 50 percent of stock value since January this year

How much Tesla stock has Musk offloaded in 2022

Tesla's dip in valuation from $1 trillion last year to now less than $500 billion this week has been attributed to a host of factors. These range from higher interest rates on borrowing and slow down in demand for Tesla-made electric vehicles as other car manufacturers unveil their offerings in this segment.

Tesla cars have been involved in a series of recalls and are also under investigation following a crash in China. However, one of the greatest contributors to the price slide is likely Musk himself, who has been busy offloading Tesla stock this year. Earlier this year, Musk was expected to sell some stock as he looked to finance his Twitter buyout.

However, even as the Twitter deal was still in abeyance, Musk sold nearly $7 billion worth of Tesla stock in August this year and then another $4 billion worth of stock in November. With the recent sale, Musk has added nearly 50 million shares of Tesla in the market this year alone, dragging down its price.

Diluting stake displaces Musk as the world's richest

Musk's controlling stake in Tesla is now down to 13.4 percent with the recent sale. As Musk spends much of his time turning around Twitter, investors are wary that Tesla is being neglected by the Technoking himself. Reducing his stake in the company is not a very encouraging sign for investors, who could also offload their while still ahead.

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Among his companies, Tesla is clearly the leader on Wall Street, and Musk's personal fortune is tied to the EV-stock price. Last year, when Tesla hit record highs, Musk became the world's richest person, with a fortune of $340 billion. Now, as the stock price has been shaved off by more than half, Musk's personal worth stands at $161 billion.

This week, Musk conceded the top spot on the Bloomberg Billionaires List to Frenchman Bernard Arnault, whose luxury goods business has taken his personal fortune to $172 billion, nearly $11 billion more than that of Musk at the time of writing this.