Sunday 15 December 2019

Cautious billionaire Soros enters his golden years with metal buys

George Soros, billionaire and founder of Soros Fund Managemen
George Soros, billionaire and founder of Soros Fund Managemen

Andreea Papuc

Billionaire investor George Soros has become more involved in trading at his family office, concerned about the outlook for the global economy and the risk that large market shifts may be at hand, according to a source.

Mr Soros (85) has been spending more time in the office directing trades and recently oversaw a series of big, bearish investments, the source said.

Soros Fund Management sold stocks and bought gold and shares of gold miners in the last quarter, anticipating weakness in various markets, according to a government filing.

A spokesman for Mr Soros declined to comment. The 'Wall Street Journal' earlier reported Mr Soros's decision.

The philanthropist, who built a $24bn fortune through savvy wagers on markets, has taken a dim view of the world economy and particularly of China. In April, he said China's debt-fuelled economy resembles the US in 2007-08, before credit markets seized up and spurred a global recession. Most of the money that banks in China are supplying is needed to keep bad debts and loss-making enterprises alive, he said at the time.

In January, the former hedge-fund manager said a hard landing in the Asian nation was "practically unavoidable", adding that such a slump would worsen global deflationary pressures, drag down stocks and boost US government bonds. His bearish view prompted him to pare back his US stock investments by more than a third last quarter, betting against the equities while banking on gold. The value of Soros Fund Management's publicly disclosed holdings dropped by 37pc to $3.5bn at the end of March, according to a government filing in May.

Mr Soros's former chief strategist, billionaire investor Stan Druckenmiller, echoed his view on gold, saying last month that the metal is his largest currency allocation as central bankers experiment with the "absurd notion of negative interest rates". (Bloomberg)

Irish Independent

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