George Soros Is Making a Big New Bet on Gold

May 17, 2016, 12:02 PM UTC
Photograph by Lakruwan Wanniarachchi — AFP/Getty Images

George Soros, who once called gold “the ultimate bubble,” has resumed buying the precious metal after a three-year hiatus.

On Monday, the billionaire investor disclosed that in the first quarter he bought 1.05 million shares in SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s biggest gold exchanged-traded fund, valued at about $123.5 million.

Meanwhile, New York-based hedge fund Paulson & Co, led by John Paulson, one of the world’s most influential gold investors, slashed its investment in SPDR Gold Trust, by 17% to 4.8 million shares.

Soros, who has been warning that the 2008 financial crisis could be repeated due to China’s economic slowdown, also doubled his wager against the S&P 500 in the first quarter.

Soros Fund Management said it owned a 2.1-million-share “put” option in the SPDR S&P 500 exchange-traded fund (ETF) which tracks the benchmark U.S. stock index. That was up from about 1 million shares in the option in the fourth quarter, it said in a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.


Soros also disclosed owning 51,700 shares in the ETF, up from 8,1000 shares in the fourth quarter.

Put options, generally considered bearish bets, give the holder the right to sell shares at a specific price by a certain date. Calls, generally considered bullish bets, give the holder the right to buy shares at a specific price.

Hedge-fund SEC disclosures are backward-looking and come out 45 days after the end of each quarter. Still, the filings offer a glimpse into what hedge fund managers saw as investment opportunities.

A spokesman for Soros declined to comment.

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