Switzerland’s central bank recently made big changes in its stock portfolio.
Swiss National Bank
initiated a position in Chinese electric-vehicle firm
(ticker: LI), and raised its holdings in
(XPEV), another Chinese EV company. The bank also bought more shares of videoconferencing firm
Zoom Video Communications
(ZM), and increased its stake in
(TLRY), a marijuana grower. The Swiss National Bank disclosed the trades, among others, in a form it filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The bank said it doesn’t comment on individual investments. The Swiss National Bank managed about $150 billion in U.S.-traded equities as of March 31.
The bank bought 427,954 American depositary receipts of Li Auto in the first quarter. It hadn’t owned any of the ADRs at the end of 2020.
Li Auto ADRs fell 13.3% in the first quarter, compared with a 5.8% gain in the
S&P 500 index.
So far in the second quarter, through Friday’s close, Li Auto ADRs have tumbled 26.6%, while the index has gained 5.1%.
The central bank also bought 74,000 more ADRs of XPeng to end the first quarter with 433,175. The shares have followed the same downward trend as Li Auto ADRs, falling 14.8% in the first quarter, and then 29.6% afterward.
Li Auto and XPeng ADRs have been pummeled by worries about increasing competition, one analyst thinks. A chip shortage is also hurting the sector. Nonetheless, Li Auto reported strong April deliveries, and XPeng’s first-quarter report was better than expected.
Zoom Video stock slipped 4.8% in the first quarter, and is down 4.2% since.
Zoom Video CEO Eric Yuan said he has experienced videoconferencing fatigue himself. One observer thinks the company could make acquisitions. Zoom Video has stepped up compliance measures through the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Swiss National Bank bought 142,900 more Zoom Video shares to end the first quarter with 826,800.
The bank bought 175,900 more Tilray shares in the first quarter to lift its investment to 289,300.
Tilray stock nearly tripled in the first quarter, but since then shares of the marijuana producer have slid 38.7%.
Tilray earlier this month closed a merger with Aphria, creating the world’s biggest weed company by revenue. Tilray’s results, reported before the merger, were lackluster.
Inside Scoop is a regular Barron’s feature covering stock transactions by corporate executives and board members—so-called insiders—as well as large shareholders, politicians, and other prominent figures. Due to their insider status, these investors are required to disclose stock trades with the Securities and Exchange Commission or other regulatory groups.