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Elon Musk says he will not sell more Tesla stock for another two years

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Tesla Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk said on Thursday he will not sell any more Tesla stock for another two years.

While speaking in a Twitter Spaces audio chat, Musk said he foresees the economy will be in a “serious recession” in 2023 and consumer demand will be lower.

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Shares of Tesla rose 3% to $129.23 in after-hours trading on Thursday following an 11% drop in regular trading hours.

Musk has previously made promises about not selling Tesla stock before subsequently selling it. Last week, Musk disclosed another $3.6 billion in stock sales, taking his total near $40 billion since late this year and frustrating investors as the company’s shares wallow at over two-year lows.

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“I needed to sell some stock to make sure, like, there’s powder dry…to account for a worst case scenario,” the billionaire said.

He said Tesla’s board is open to share buyback, but that will depend on the scale of a recession.

Musk said that Tesla is close to picking the location of its new “Gigafactory.” Tesla could announce the construction of a “Gigafactory” in the northern Mexican state of Nuevo Leon as soon as Friday, with an initial investment of between $800 million and $1 billion, local newspaper Reforma reported on Monday.

Asked whether he would bring in someone such as venture capitalist David Sacks to run Twitter to allow him to focus on Tesla, Musk dodged the question and said Twitter was a relatively simple business.

“(Twitter) is maybe 10% of the complexity of Tesla,” Musk said.

Musk has increasingly used Twitter’s live audio platform to weigh in on his product and strategic decisions at the social media company he took private in October in a $44 billion deal.

Some of his appearances have turned contentious including an exchange with a former Twitter engineer who was challenging his apparent plan to rewrite significant amounts of the company’s source code. (Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin and Greg Bensinger in San Francisco; additional reporting by Sheila Dang and Ken Lee; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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