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Tesla chief executive Elon Musk has sold around $5bn (£3.7bn) of shares in the electric carmaker.

This comes just days after he asked his 63,000,000 Twitter followers if he should sell 10% Tesla stock.

After the poll was conducted, shares in the company plunged by approximately 16%. However, they gained some ground Wednesday.

Tesla, the most valued carmaker in the world, has a stock exchange valuation exceeding $1tn.

Musk sold nearly 3.6 million Tesla shares to his trust, which was worth approximately $4bn.

After exercising options to purchase nearly 2.2million shares at $1.1bn, he sold another 934,000 shares. According to US stock market regulator filings.

Additionally, documents revealed that approximately a fifth was sold based on an earlier-arranged September trading plan. That is long before Musk posted about it in his Twitter posts.

Musk published a poll on Twitter asking for his followers’ opinions about whether they should decide to either sell part or all of their Tesla stakes to satisfy his tax obligations.

Twitter: “Much is being made lately about unrealised gains being used as a method of tax avoidance. I propose to sell 10% of my Tesla stock.”

“I will follow the poll results, no matter what.”

Nearly 58% of those surveyed voted in favor of selling shares.

External sites are not under the control of BBC.Original tweet available on Twitter

Musk stated that Tesla does not pay him in cash: “I have only stock. Therefore, the only way I can personally pay taxes is to sell stock.”

He was able to exercise stock options that the automaker had granted him in 2012. This transaction was part of his 2012 pay package.

Income taxes are triggered by such transactions. These income taxes can be settled usually using funds raised through the immediate sale of some newly acquired shares.

This was his first stock sale since 2016 when he had last exercised stock options. To pay close to $600m in income taxes, he sold some shares.

Musk, who is estimated to have a fortune of more than $280 billion, is the richest man in the world.


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