* Three Ark funds add $246 mln worth of Coinbase shares
* Two Ark funds sell $178 mln worth of Tesla shares
* Tesla sale comes a month after an ultra-bullish call on stock
* Coinbase shares rise 11% in U.S. premarket trading (Updates shares, adds details)
LONDON, April 15 (Reuters) - Cathie Wood’s Ark funds bought $246 million worth of Coinbase shares on the cryptocurrency exchange’s Nasdaq debut on Wednesday and sold some of their Tesla stock, just under a month after talking up the carmaker.
The bet on Coinbase gives Ark more indirect exposure to cryptocurrencies on top of their big bets on the likes of Tesla, which recently invested in bitcoin and said it would accept it as a payment for its cars.
“What’s interesting is their unwinding of some Tesla shares after their ludicrous call on Tesla,” said Karim Moussalem, head of cash equity sales at Cantor Fitzgerald Europe in London. “Selling some shares after that is a bit odd.”
Longtime Tesla bull Wood said in March that its share price could hit $3,000 by 2025, well above its current $732 per share.
Ark sold Tesla shares worth about $178 million, though the stock is still by far their biggest position by value on their major funds.
A chunky $168 million in Coinbase stock was added to its flagship ARK Innovation fund, while the remainder went into its next-generation and fintech innovation funds.
One of Wood’s funds also sold a $4.4 million stake in New York Stock Exchange owner Intercontinental Exchange, according to their daily trading summary for April 14.
Ark Invest, the owner of the funds, was not immediately available to comment on Wednesday’s position changes.
Coinbase shares were up 11% in U.S. premarket trading on Thursday, having risen 52% on their Nasdaq debut. That gave it a market capitalisation of close to $100 billion, well above ICE and other traditional exchange operators.
Celebrity fund manager Wood gained prominence last year among retail investors and managed to attract a steady pile of cash into her red-hot funds.
The ARK Innovation fund saw assets under management rise from $1.86 billion at the end of 2019 to nearly $22 billion as of March.
“Coinbase listing is a key milestone that arguably has created a lot of interest and hype, so it will be interesting to see how the entire cryptocurrency industry evolves over the coming months,” said Steen Jakobsen, chief investment officer at Saxo Bank.
Reporting by Thyagaraju Adinarayan in London and David Randall in New York; Editing by Kim Coghill and Jan Harvey