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Carl Icahn: I don't want to fight with Tim... but I will

Investor still pushing Apple for $150bn share buyback, won't make it buy Nuance

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Investment guru Carl Icahn says he doesn't want to fight with the management of Apple, but he won't abandon his sizeable financial concern in the firm either.

Icahn has been trying to get Apple to give some of its cash mountain to shareholders by buying back $150bn worth of shares and has been meeting with chief Tim Cook to try to hurry things along.

"Apple is not a bank and it should not be run like a bank because investors did not invest in a bank," he told the Reuters Global Investment Outlook Summit. "Apple has all this money, they should be using it."

However, he also said that he and his fund have no desire to micro-manage the corporations they invest in. He said he wouldn't consider pushing Apple into buying Nuance Communications, which makes the software for Siri and in which Icahn also has a sizeable stake.

"That is something I would… never even think of telling Tim Cook," he said, according to Reuters. "It has zero to do with the fact that I'm involved with Apple."

Icahn holds 0.4 per cent of the outstanding shares in Apple and 16.9 per cent of Nuance as of August, according to regulatory filings. But he said that he had neither the expertise nor the presumption to tell Cook to buy Nuance.

The investor also said that he had looked into buying shares in Microsoft but had decided against it, declining to give a reason why he didn't want to sink some funds into Redmond.

Aside from tech firms, Icahn also warned that there was a chance the stock market could take a big hit, because companies are being so highly valued when their earnings were more down to low boring costs than the result of managements doing anything particularly well.

"I am very cautious on equities today. This market could easily have a big drop," he said.

"Very simplistically put, a lot of the earnings are a mirage. They are not coming because the companies are well run but because of low interest rates." ®

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