Alibaba sells its shares in India’s Paytm for $167 million.

According to stock exchange data released on Friday, China’s Alibaba Group has sold its remaining shares in Indian digital payments company Paytm for around 13.78 billion rupees ($167.14 million).

The departure occurs only days after Paytm reported its first operating profit as a publicly traded company for a quarter, nine months ahead of schedule. According to NSE stock exchange statistics, Singapore E-Commerce Pvt Ltd sold 21.4 million shares of Paytm on Friday at a price of 642.74 rupees each, a 9% drop from Thursday’s close.

The price of Paytm’s shares fell by about 8% on Friday to settle at 650.55 rupees, but it is still up by almost 23% year to date.

The data revealed that on Friday, Morgan Stanley Asia (Singapore) Pte purchased 5.42 million Paytm shares for 640 rupees.

The reason Alibaba sold the shareholding was not immediately obvious. Alibaba and Paytm did not instantly react when Reuters requested a comment.

Alibaba made a block sale of 3.1% of the business in January for a total of $125 million. Prior to that, the Chinese company owned 6.26% of Paytm.

Paytm, which is also backed by China’s Ant Group and Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp (9984.T), has been under pressure to turn profitable ever since its dismal listing in November 2021.

The stock has declined around 70% since listing, and tumbled 60% in 2022.

Earlier this week, Macquarie Research double-upgraded the stock to “outperform” from “underperform”, and bumped up the price target by around 80% to 800 rupees.

“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.”

($1 = 82.4480 Indian rupees)

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