Billionaire Sells Apple (AAPL) Shares; Apple Tops Billion Dollar Brands List

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By Athena Yenko | March 19, 2014 6:13 PM EST

Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov sold his shares of Apple Inc. (AAPL:US), Bloomberg reports.

Ivan Streshinskiy, head of Usmanov's asset management company USM Advisors LLC, told Bloomberg that the billionaire sold shares of Apple Inc. to focus on his investments in China's growing technology stocks. The billionaire also plans to buy more stakes in the Russian market.

 "Chinese companies account for about 70 percent to 80 percent of the portfolio of our foreign Internet investments. Most of the investment is in Alibaba, JD.com and some other companies with great potential," Streshinskiy said.

Usmanov's asset management company believes that crisis is a great opportunity to invest on stocks. And while the Crimea crisis is still ongoing, the company plans to invest on Russian companies like Mail.Ru and MegaFon.

"Mail.Ru and MegaFon revenue is coming from Russia and people won't stop making calls and using the Internet. If the events will further escalate, we will be buying shares. Crisis is always a good opportunity as valuations become cheap," Mr Streshinskiy said.

Mr Usmanov bought his shares of Apple Inc. in March 2013 when Apple Inc.'s stock advanced by 23 per cent. He bought $100 million worth of Apple stock.

 However, Apple Inc.'s stock had declined by 6 per cent in the early months of 2014.

"We hope that our investments in China's Internet companies may show the same and even better returns as we had with the American companies," Streshinskiy said.

Mr Usmanov also sold shares of Facebook (FB:US).

Meanwhile, Apple Inc. still tops Brand Finance's Billion Dollar Brands list.

According to Brand Finance, Apple's brand is worth $104.6 billion - more than Google's valuation at $68.6 billion.

To come up with its list of Billion Dollar Brands, Brand Finance estimated the royalty rate charged by companies when its brand is used. The royalty rate is then added to estimated future revenue.

Technology companies dominated the top ten spots - Microsoft at number 3, GE at number 5 and Amazon at number 7.

Silicon Valley's Intel, Cisco, Oracle, Hewlett- Packard, eBay, Facebook, PayPal and Yahoo made it to the top 50 of the list.

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