Who Actually Owns the Most Nio Stock?

Introducing Nio: China‘s Electric Vehicle Upstart

First, let‘s start with some background. Nio is a Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer launched in 2014 by William Li (also known as Li Bin) along with co-founders Lihong Qin, Feng Shen, and Qin Lihong. The vision was to bring high-performance premium EVs and exceptional user experiences to the Chinese market.

Today, Nio produces four current models – the ES8, ES6, EC6, and ET7. It aims to blend technology and luxury much like U.S. counterpart Tesla, while pioneering innovations like "battery-as-a-service" to reduce charging times by swapping battery packs rather than waiting for single packs to charge.

Nio delivered over 90,000 vehicles in 2021 and hopes to scale significantly from current production levels. It went public on the NYSE in 2018, raking in over $1 billion at a $6 billion+ valuation in one of the largest Chinese IPOs of recent years in the U.S.

As you likely know though, it hasn‘t been all smooth sailing for investors…

Nio‘s Wild Ride: From $66 to $12

In early 2021, enthusiasm for electric vehicle stocks exploded, sending Nio‘s share price rocketing to an all-time high of $66.99 – more than 10X its IPO valuation. However, as you can see in the chart below, the air has since fully left that hype balloon.

DateShare Price
IPO Date$6.26
52-Week High$66.99
Current Price$12.38

Down over 80% from highs

Like other pre-revenue, high-growth companies, Nio has been hit hard amid rising rates/inflation that dampen future earnings potential. Macro headwinds from supply chain woes to China lockdowns haven‘t helped either.

But behind the scenes, this pullback is actually concentrating Nio ownership into the hands of institutional whales patient enough to handle the heat.

Institutions Increase Ownership Amid Retail Capitulation

During the run-up, over 50% of Nio shares sat with individual/retail investors – likely momentum chasers hoping to find the next Tesla. However, as volatility picked up, many proved unwilling or unable to stomach further losses.

In the last year alone, retail ownership of Nio has fallen from 52% down to current levels of 48% per FactSet data. Where did those shares migrate towards? You guessed it…institutions.

While retail threw in the towel, mega-funds like Renaissance Technologies tripled their Nio stake to nearly 18 million shares. Goldman Sachs tacked on another 5 million shares to hit 30 million total. And they weren‘t alone, as you can see below:

Institution1-Year Change in Shares Owned
Renaissance Technologies+221%
Goldman Sachs+20%
Morgan Stanley+42%
Norges Bank+11%

Rising institutional ownership across the board

Clearly, the world‘s most powerful investors are zooming in on Nio stock as a long-duration asset trading at a fraction of former highs. This influx of "smart money" is often the precursor to eventual rebounds.

Who *Actually* Owns the Most Nio Stock Now?

Even with more institutions buying, Nio founder William Li remains the single largest individual shareholder by a mile. He holds approximately 10% of total shares outstanding – worth north of $1.2 billion at recent prices.

Besides Li however, institutional holders now own a combined 34% of Nio‘s shares compared to the aforementioned 48% for retail investors and 8% for corporate holders.

Here is a breakdown of Nio‘s 5 largest institutional shareholders currently:

OwnerStake# of Shares
Baillie Gifford & Co6.3%96.8 million
BlackRock2.6%40.3 million
Vanguard2.5%38.9 million
Goldman Sachs1.9%29.6 million
State Street1.7%25.7 million

Scottish investment manager Baillie Gifford owns the largest institutional chunk at about 6.3% – worth approximately $770 million at today‘s prices. What‘s their thesis? For starters, they already own a massive Tesla position and are highly convicted on EV adoptioncurves playing out over the next decade.

In their view, Nio not only benefits from domestic Chinese EV growth, but also brand cache and technology like battery swapping that rivals like Xpeng or Li Auto lack. For a long-term holder like Baillie, the current turbulence doesn‘t deter from the enormous addressable market Nio is tackling.

And Baillie isn‘t alone – BlackRock, Vanguard and 50+ other institutions likely have similar outlooks. While retail interest may wax and wane with Nio‘s stock chart, these institutions are locked-in for the next 5-10 years minimum.

In closing, despite ugly price action, institutional confidence and ownership in Nio continues rising. Once markets stabilize, that repository of "smart money" may ultimately dictate where Nio heads next.

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