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Baillie Gifford expresses anger over Musk's Thailand tweet

Baillie Gifford expresses anger over Musk's Thailand tweet

Baillie Gifford fund manager James Anderson has written to Elon Musk to protest at the Tesla founder’s recent comments on the rescue of children from a cave in Thailand.

Mr Anderson jointly runs the £8bn Scottish Mortgage investment trust, which, along with other funds at Baillie Gifford, is the second largest shareholder in electric vehicle, lithium-ion battery energy storage and solar panel manufacturer Tesla, after Mr Musk himself.

Tesla is one of the most shorted stocks on global stock markets, with investors concerned about Mr Musk’s ability to deliver production targets.

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Mr Anderson has been a vituperative defender of Mr Musk, saying that investors should ignore short term considerations and instead focus on the scale of the long-term opportunity in the shares.

He defended Mr Musk when the latter called analysts “boneheads”, but Mr Musk’s comments about the volunteers who rescued children trapped in a cave in Thailand, when he tweeted that one of the rescuers was a paedophile. 

There is no suggestion that this allegation is true.

Mr Anderson said he would be conveying his disapproval of the remarks directly to Mr Musk.

Ben Rogoff, who runs the £1.8bn Polar Capital Technology Trust, said Mr Musk’s social media proclamations, which often make grandiose claims about the business, are necessary because Tesla is still trying to raise fresh capital.

Mr Rogoff has less than a quarter of 1 per cent of the capital of the trust invested in Tesla.

He said this is to ensure that if the company does perform as well as some expect, he will benefit, but he generally doesn’t invest heavily in loss making companies, such as Tesla.

David Scott, an adviser at the firm of Andrews Gwynne in Leeds, is pessimistic about the investment case for Tesla.

He said the company is in "foot down panic mode."