China's Alibaba Group has sold its remaining stake in Indian digital payments firm Paytm for about Rs. 1,378 crore through a block deal, stock exchange data showed on Friday.
The exit comes days after Paytm posted its first-ever quarterly operating profit as a listed firm, nine months ahead of its own target.
Alibaba.com Singapore E-Commerce sold 21.4 million shares of Paytm on Friday at Rs. 642.74 apiece, a 9 percent discount to Thursday's close, NSE stock exchange data showed.
Paytm's stock tumbled nearly 8 percent on Friday to close at Rs. 650.55, but it is still up nearly 23 percent so far this year.
Morgan Stanley Asia (Singapore) Pte bought 5.42 million shares of Paytm at Rs. 640 on Friday, the data showed.
It was not immediately clear why Alibaba sold the stake. Paytm and Alibaba did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment.
In January, Alibaba sold a 3.1 percent stake in the company through a block deal worth $125 million (nearly Rs. 1,030 crore). Before that, the Chinese firm had a 6.26 percent stake in Paytm.
Paytm, which is also backed by China's Ant Group and Japan's SoftBank Group, has been under pressure to turn profitable ever since its dismal listing in November 2021.
The stock has declined around 70 percent since listing, and tumbled 60 percent in 2022.
Earlier this week, Macquarie Research double-upgraded the stock to "outperform" from "underperform", and bumped up the price target by around 80 percent to Rs. 800.
"Perhaps the last bear on the stock on sell side, we change our view and we double upgrade PaytM to outperform," Macquarie analyst Suresh Ganapathy said.
"We see a very visible change in approach of the management to deliver profits as evidenced by core EBIDTA profitability reported recently. We were earlier expecting losses to continue but at current rate of revenues and operating leverage kicking in, we expect accounting profits to be delivered by FY26."
© Thomson Reuters 2023
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