Major US investment manager AllianceBernstein has acquired a 6.72% ownership stake in Mazda Motor for investment purposes, the US firm said in a recent report to the Japanese Financial Services Agency.

AllianceBerstein is likely to have become the largest shareholder in the automaker, Kyodo News said.

In the report submitted on 19 August, the investment fund said it bought a 6.72% stake in Mazda . That exceeds the 6.61% shareholding of a different USinvestment company, Franklin Templeton Investments , which reported its share purchase to the agency in July.

Ford, once the largest shareholder in Mazda, lowered its equity stake to about 3.5% by November last year.