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BlackRock's largest mutual fund sours on Google

By Trevor Hunnicutt

By Trevor Hunnicutt

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Managers of BlackRock Inc's <BLK.N> largest mutual fund, fearing Trump administration policies could hurt technology companies with hefty foreign revenue streams, have reshuffled their top holdings, and it appears one of the first casualties is Google.

Alphabet Inc <GOOG.O> has dropped out of the fund's top-10 holdings list after the $41 billion BlackRock Global Allocation Fund <MALOX.O> <MCLOX.O> pared back its near-half-billion-dollar stake in the parent of the leading search engine in January.

Last year, Alphabet C-class shares worth about 1 percent of the fund's total assets were on its top-10 list. The Global Allocation Fund holds hundreds of stocks and also invests in bonds.

The C-class shares have no voting rights. Alphabet's A-class shares <GOOGL.O> were not a top-10 holding of the fund.

As of Jan. 31, the list still included other tech innovators, such as Apple Inc <AAPL.O>, Amazon.com Inc <AMZN.O>, Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL] and Facebook Inc <FB.O>, according to BlackRock's website.

Global Allocation held about $443 million in Alphabet C-class shares, as of Oct. 31, down from $550 million the prior quarter, according to regulatory filings. The fund has held the stock since October 2015, according to Morningstar Inc.

The latest disclosures do not make clear how much of the Alphabet stake has been sold. The 10th-largest Global Allocation holding, Pfizer Inc <PFE.N>, accounted for about 0.58 percent of the fund, which would work out to $237 million, suggesting the Google stake had fallen at least to that level.

Alphabet did not respond to requests for comment. BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager, declined to comment.

"Our enthusiasm for U.S. stocks is tempered by elevated valuations, a lack of fiscal policy specifics, and uncertainty regarding future U.S. trade policy," the fund's managers wrote in a summary covering their January trades.

"We reduced the fund's exposure to select technology stocks, including U.S.-based companies that generate a significant portion of revenues from non-U.S. dollar sources."

Alphabet earned 53 percent of its revenue outside of the United States last year, according to its earnings statements. The value was reduced by the U.S. dollar's strength against the British pound, euro and other currencies.

U.S. President Donald Trump has touted a series of trade and tax reforms to boost domestic growth, some of which could also push up the U.S. dollar.

A Republican proposal to reform taxes that would levy a 20 percent tax on imports and exclude export revenue from taxable income has been circulating. Trump has said he would announce his own tax plan in coming weeks.

(Reporting by Trevor Hunnicutt; Editing by Richard Chang)

 

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