Big Investor Bought Apple and Chinese EV Stocks NIO and Li Auto. Here’s What It Sold.

A NIO vehicle. DNB Asset Management bought more Apple and NIO shares, started a stake in Li Auto, and halved an investment in Intel.

GREG BAKER/AFP via Getty Images

A large asset manager recently made some big changes in its investment portfolio.

DNB Asset Management bought more Apple (ticker: AAPL) and NIO (NIO) shares, initiated an investment in Li Auto (LI), and halved a position in Intel (INTC) in the second quarter. The unit of Norway’s largest financial-services firm DNB disclosed the trades in a form it filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

DNB Asset, which manages more than $70 billion in assets, declined to comment on the investment changes.

DNB Asset bought 423,239 additional Apple shares to end the second quarter with 3.9 million shares of the iPhone maker.

Apple stock trailed the market in the first half of 2021, managing a gain of 3.2% while the S&P 500 index rose 14.4%. So far in July, however, shares have added 6.0%, compared with the 1.7% gain in the index.

Apple gained some tailwinds as investors turned their attention to a potential fall launch of the next iPhone. Last month, we named Apple’s Tim Cook to our list of best CEOs. The company, along with other big-tech peers, is facing renewed regulatory scrutiny.

DNB Asset bought 582,664 more NIO American depository receipts to end June with 618,585 ADRs of the Chinese maker of electric vehicles. The asset manager also initiated a position in Chinese EV peer Li Auto with the purchase of 14,299 ADRs; DNB Asset didn’t own any at the end of March.

NIO and Li Auto ADRs rose 9.2% and 21.2%, respectively, in the first half, but they have respectively slipped 14.4% and 8.9% in July, We’ve noted that some weakness this month in both Chinese EV makers is due to that country’s regulatory pressure on Didi Global (DIDI), a ride-sharing company that recently listed in the U.S. Both NIO and Li Auto have been reporting strong deliveries.

DNB Asset sold 722,908 Intel shares in the second quarter, slashing its investment to 809,214 shares of the chip giant. Intel stock rose 12.7% in the first half of the year, and has been essentially flat so far in July.

Intel said in late June that it was delaying the production of a new chip to the first quarter of next year from late this year. The company, however, has benefited from strong PC demand, as homebound office workers upgraded equipment to work online. The company disclosed that it invested in a payments company in the first quarter.

Inside Scoop is a regular Barron’s feature covering stock transactions by corporate executives and board members—so-called insiders—as well as large shareholders, politicians, and other prominent figures. Due to their insider status, these investors are required to disclose stock trades with the Securities and Exchange Commission or other regulatory groups.

Write to Ed Lin at ed.lin@barrons.com and follow @BarronsEdLin.

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