Saturday, May 16, 2009

John Paulson Continues to Pile Into Gold (GLD); George Soros Sells Some Petrobras (PBR) and Potash (POT)

Now that SEC filings for 1st quarter 2009 have come in, a very quick look at some moves from the hottest hedge fund manager over the past 3 years, John Paulson and venerable George Soros.

Paulson continues to grow his gold stash as he views inflation rather than deflation the coming scourge. [Mar 17, 2009: John Paulson Joins David Einhorn as Gold Bug with Stake in AngloGold Ashanti (AU)] Amazingly his fund now owns 8.7% of the entire SPRD Gold Trust (GLD) - wow. And if I read this correct a 15% stake in the Gold Miners ETF (GDX).

Via Bloomberg
  • Paulson & Co., the hedge-fund firm run by billionaire John Paulson, increased its investment in gold and gold-mining shares in the first quarter, according to a regulatory filing. As of the end of the first quarter, Paulson was the largest holder of SPDR Gold Trust, an investment fund that buys gold bullion. The New York-based firm owned 8.7 percent of the fund, valued at $2.8 billion as of March 31, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
  • That position was established as a hedge, the company said in a statement, because its funds have a share class that is denominated in gold rather than in dollars or euros.
  • Paulson bought or added to several gold companies in the quarter as well. He purchased a 15 percent stake in Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF, a fund that mirrors the move in the Amex Gold Miners Index. That stake was worth $638 million at the end of the quarter.
  • Paulson also bought a 2.6 percent of Gold Fields Ltd., becoming the fourth-largest holder of the Johannesburg-based gold miner. The investment firm, which manages $26 billion, also bought an additional 2.4 million shares of Kinross Gold Corp. Paulson owned 4.4 percent of the Toronto-based gold producer and was its third-largest holder at the end of the quarter.
  • Paulson reported owning an 11.3 percent stake in AngloGold Ashanti Ltd., also based in Johannesburg, in March.
  • Paulson’s largest fund, the Advantage Plus Fund Ltd. returned 4.8 percent through April.
[Nov 18, 2008: Paulson Buying Mortgage Backed Securities]
[Jan 31, 2009: Dealbook - John Paulson's Year End Review]

Meanwhile George Soros cut back some of his holdings in Petrobras (PBR) and Potash (POT) - although not too much in the latter after making huge pushes into both a quarter previous. [Feb 18, 2009: George Soros Increases Stakes in Potash & Petrobas]

Via Bloomberg
  • Soros Fund Management LLC, billionaire investor George Soros’s hedge-fund company, cut stakes in Petroleo Brasileiro SA and Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan, its biggest holdings in the first quarter, according to a filing.
  • The New York-based fund sold 5 million U.S. shares of Petrobras, (PBR) as the company is known, during the quarter, according to a filing today with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Soros’s remaining 32 million shares of the Brazilian state-controlled oil company were valued at $963 million at the end of the quarter.
  • The fund also held 5.6 million shares of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan-based Potash (POT) at the end of the first quarter, compared with 5.9 million shares as of Dec. 31.
Other moves
  • Soros bought 968,000 shares of Entergy Corp (ETR)., the second- largest U.S. operator of nuclear power plants, and 3.59 million shares of Houston-based Plains Exploration & Production Co.(PXP) in the first quarter. Soros sold off its stake in Schlumberger Ltd.,(SLB) the world’s largest oilfield-services provider, and U.S. coal producer Consol Energy Inc.
  • Soros’s company oversees about $21 billion. Its Quantum Endowment Fund returned 7.2 percent in the first quarter.
Just a quick look, I'll be peaking at SEC filings to get further insights.

Long Potash in fund, no personal position

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