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Alisher Usmanov, the Russian billionaire whom some of you may recall from his jaw-dropping 10-fold return on his investment into Facebook last year, recently announced to Bloomberg that he'd invested as much as $100 million into Apple stock in the belief that it will return to the highs of September 2012 or beyond. That's an impressive gamble. Apple's stock has dropped by close to 40 percent since then due to concerns about competition from Samsung and sluggish sales.
Still, Usmanov believes Apple will get back on its feet, and soon at that. "I believe in the future of this company even after Steve Jobs," Usmanov said in an interview at Bloomberg’s Moscow offices on April 25. "When the company lost $100 billion of its market value, it was a good time to buy its shares, as the capitalization should rebound."
The actual date of Usmanov's investment is unknown, but he points to recent announcements such as Apple's generous dividend and share buyback overhauls as reasons to believe Apple will distinguish itself as a "very promising investment" in the next three years.
Also, Usmanov has lost little of the faith in Facebook that drove his initial investment there in 2009, when Facebook was valued at a "mere" $6.5 billion. "I still believe in the high technology sector and I am also absolutely confident in the future of Facebook," he said. Usmanov, Russia's richest man, believes he's ahead of the curve on a similar turnaround in value at Apple. If correct, it'll pay off royally. For instance, when Facebook went public in May of 2012, Usmanov earned $1.4 billion when his DST Group sold a $1.7 billion stake while the social media giant was valued at $100 billion.
Bloomberg notes that Usmanova also keeps his eyes on Russia itself, where he holds stakes in VKontakte, Russia's largest social network. "Russia is a country that created free economy and market in the last two decades, while the U.S. and Great Britain have it for centuries," he said, hinting at the potential of Russia's technology market.
(Photo credit: www.kremlin.ru)