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Temasek raises bets on China’s tourists instead of shoppers

02/15/2017| 10:10:30 AM|

Temasek appears to be betting that China's consumers will ease back on retail in favor of hitting the road, cutting its stake in e-commerce giant Alibaba while boosting its online travel holdings of Ctrip, reported CNBC.

In the fourth quarter of 2016, Singapore's state-owned investment fund sold a little more than 4 million shares in China-based and U.S. listed Alibaba, taking its holdings down to around 35.5 million shares valued at USD 3.12 billion, according to its 13F-HR SEC filing.

The fund sharply raised its holding in Chinese travel-booking company Ctrip to 4.78 million shares in the fourth quarter, up from 350,159 in the third quarter, for a stake valued at around USD 191.1 million at the end of last year.

Temasek already held around 8.19 million shares in Ctrip competitor Tuniu, a Chinese online platform for leisure-travel packages. That stake fell in value to USD 71.7 million at the end of the fourth quarter from USD 82.93 million at the end of the third quarter.

In 2015, China outbound departures reached 128 million, 9.7% higher than a year earlier, with plenty of scope for the number to increase since just 5% of China's population holds a passport, according to analysts at Natixis.

The investment fund has targeted the consumer sector as a key investment theme globally, particularly aimed at growing consumption in emerging markets.

While it sold part of its Alibaba stake, Temasek clearly isn't giving up on ecommerce in China. Temasek kept its stake in JD.com steady at 7.3 million shares in the fourth quarter, while adding nearly 129,000 shares of Amazon.com, marking a fresh stake in the U.S. company.

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TAGS: Temasek | Alibaba | Ctrip
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