MicroStrategy bitcoin holding valued at $4.38 bln after latest buy

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Representations of virtual currency Bitcoin are placed on a computer motherboard in this illustration taken January 21, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

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March 1 (Reuters) - Major bitcoin corporate backer MicroStrategy Inc (MSTR.O) said on Monday it bought another 328 bitcoin for about $15 million in cash, swelling its holdings of the cryptocurrency and sending the company's shares 7% higher in premarket trading.

The company, whose Chief Executive Officer Michael Saylor is one of the most vocal proponents of bitcoin , bought the cryptocurrency at an average price of about $45,710 each.

MicroStrategy, the world's largest publicly-traded business intelligence company, owns close to 90,859 bitcoin, which were acquired at an aggregate purchase price of about $2.19 billion and an average purchase price of around $24,063 per bitcoin, it said on Monday. https://bit.ly/2Mz4yj9

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The company's bitcoin holdings are valued at about $4.38 billion, according to a Reuters calculation.

MicroStrategy spent last year steadily amassing bitcoin after making its first investment in August.

The company had bought another 19,452 bitcoin last week, worth around $1.03 billion.

MicroStrategy's latest shopping spree comes as major firms including BNY Mellon (BK.N), asset manager BlackRock Inc (BLK.N) and credit card giant Mastercard Inc (MA.N), backed certain cryptocurrencies, with Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) investing $1.5 billion in bitcoin.

Bitcoin rose nearly 6% on Monday as risk assets rallied after last week's bond rout cooled. read more

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Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri

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