Mark Zuckerberg halts stock sales as Facebook shares slide

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Mark Zuckerberg said in September 2017 that he would unload 35 million to 75 million Facebook shares over the following 18 months as part of a pledge to give away almost all of his fortune during his lifetime.David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Mark Zuckerberg’s multibillion-dollar stock sale ground to a halt in the final months of 2018.

The Facebook Inc. co-founder didn’t sell a single share in the fourth quarter, when the social media company’s stock tumbled 20 per cent amid a broader market rout. It’s the first quarter in more than two years he’s refrained from doing so, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Zuckerberg, 34, said in September 2017 that he would unload 35 million to 75 million Facebook shares over the following 18 months as part of a pledge to give away almost all of his fortune during his lifetime. Since then, he’s sold about 30.4 million shares worth roughly US$5.6 billion.

The transactions have been scheduled in advance with a so-called 10b5-1 trading plan, which can include parameters such as price or volume limits. Vanessa Chan, a spokeswoman for the Menlo Park, California-based company, declined to comment.

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