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Gates Foundation sells stake in India Fund

Bill Gates' charity organisation has offloaded its entire stake valued at nearly $23.1 million in an India-specific investment fund.

india Updated: May 17, 2006 11:16 IST

Microsoft chief and software czar Bill Gates' charity organisation has offloaded its entire stake valued at nearly $23.1 million (over Rs 100 crore) in an India-specific investment fund.

India Fund invests nearly 80 per cent of its stake in Indian companies and the Bill and Linda Gates Foundation, the charity organisation funded by the founder of global software major Microsoft Corporation, owned a 1.82 per cent stake at the beginning of the quarter ended March 31.

Gates Foundation was the second biggest institutional investor in India Fund at the beginning of the first quarter this calendar year, while Barclays Global Investors UK Holdings was the top investor with a 4.03 per cent stake valued at more than $50 million.

The Gates Foundation said in its filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission today that its stock holdings were worth $3.83 billion as on March 31.

Citigroup Inc and Morgan Stanley were other major institutional stakeholders in India Fund at the beginning of 1Q06.

According to the SEC filing, Gates Foundation shares of global majors such as Abbott Labs, BP Plc, Chevron Corp, Coca Cola Company, Walt Disney Co, Duke Energy, ExxonMobil, Fedex Corp, Eli Lilly and Co, Merck, Pfizer Inc, Sony Corp, Viacom Inc and Wyeth.

The foundation acquired shares of Viacom Inc and Brookefield Asset Management Inc during the first quarter, the SEC filing said.

Gates foundation is engaged in funding healthcare projects across the world and four global pharmaceutical companies are present in its top 10 holdings.