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Disclosure: Billionaire George Soros would not have to reveal what stocks he owns under proposed new rules

Disclosure: Billionaire George Soros would not have to reveal what stocks he owns under proposed new rules

Disclosure: Billionaire George Soros would not have to reveal what stocks he owns under proposed new rules

John Paulson, Stanley Druckenmiller and George Soros are among billionaire investors who would no longer have to reveal which stocks they own under a US plan to ease disclosure rules.

Regulators had said that smaller fund managers would benefit from the change, including through reduced costs.

While the legendary traders all oversee billions of dollars, the value of each of their firms' equity holdings traded on US exchanges is less than the $3.5bn (€3bn) threshold which would trigger public reporting in the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposal.

They are far from alone, as other Wall Street icons below that level include Louis Bacon, David Tepper, David Einhorn and Paul Tudor Jones.

Even Ray Dalio's Bridgewater Associates, the world's biggest hedge fund manager with $138bn of assets, is in striking distance of the SEC's suggested limit because the firm holds just $5bn of stocks, according to its most recent quarterly filing with the regulator. It would be nearly impossible for Bridgewater to get under the existing threshold of $100m, a level that hasn't been changed in more than four decades.

Paul Singer's Elliott Management has about $3.4bn in stocks and convertible bonds, and holds options on another $2bn in equities, according to its latest report.

Depending on the market value of those options, which isn't disclosed, Elliott might also avoid revealing its equity investments under the SEC's proposal.

The SEC announced on July 10 it was considering increasing the rule's reporting threshold, with chairman Jay Clayton saying the move would allow the agency to continue monitoring the "holdings of larger investment managers while reducing unnecessary burdens on smaller managers."

Warren Buffett, and giant mutual fund companies such as BlackRock and Fidelity Investments, would continue reporting equity investments every three months in filings known as 13Fs under the SEC plan. But that is not true for the majority of hedge funds and family offices because few own $3.5bn in stocks.

Fund managers have long complained about having to reveal holdings - stakes that are closely monitored by other investors, Wall Street analysts and the financial media - because they believe the disclosures allow traders to steal some of their best ideas.

Leon Cooperman, who converted his hedge fund firm Omega Advisers into a family office in 2018, said he likes the SEC proposal because it would reduce his filing costs. "On the other hand, it would be nice to have over $3.5bn in the market," he quipped.

The 13F filings are more a snapshot than a true depiction of what fund managers' have in portfolios as traders have 45 days after a quarter ends to submit the forms which show holdings linked to stocks that trade on US exchanges.

Bloomberg

Irish Independent