Soros backpedals on gold holdings

May 17, 2011 at 4:51 PM
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NEW YORK, May 17 (UPI) -- Billionaire investor George Soros spent much of the first quarter ditching his position in gold, a U.S. regulatory filing said.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Soros Fund Management said it pared down its holdings having to do with the precious metal by $800 million. Gold, meanwhile, has spent much of the year steaming ahead to a record price, hitting $1,557.40 per troy ounce in early May, CNNMoney reported Tuesday.

The year began with gold or gold-related investments making up about 10 percent of Soros Fund management's $8.4 billion portfolio.

The SEC filing said it ended the quarter with just $6.9 million or 49,400 shares in SPDR Gold Trust, down from $655 million or 4.7 million shares at the start of the year.

The fund also sold 5 million shares of iShares Gold Trust and pared back holdings of mining firms Kinross Gold Corp. and Novagold Resources.

In total, the fund's gold investments dropped from $1 billion to about $216 million.

In its own filing Paulson & Co., also influential in the gold market, held onto its $4.4 billion position in the gold market during the first quarter.

Paulson's SEC filing said it added to its position in two mining companies, Barrick Gold Corp. and Gold Fields Ltd.

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