Soros Exits Gold, Paulson Cuts GLD Stake

Yellow metal had it poorest quarterly showing in more than three years in Q3.

Reviewed by: Marcy Nicholson
Edited by: Marcy Nicholson

New York (Reuters) – Soros Fund Management got out of gold in the fourth quarter of 2016, while Paulson & Co. reduced its stake in the SPDR Gold Trust (GLD) as bullion prices saw their weakest quarterly performance in 3 1/2 years, regulatory filings showed on Tuesday.

The firm that invests the personal fortune of billionaire investor and philanthropist George Soros eliminated its shares in Barrick Gold in the October-to-December period, the fund's last remaining stake in bullion after dissolving its shares in the world's biggest gold exchange-traded fund, GLD, in the previous quarter.

New York-based Paulson & Co., led by longtime gold bull John Paulson, cut its stake in GLD to 4.4 million shares, worth $478 million, from 4.8 million shares, worth $600 million, at the end of the third quarter, according to filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Gold Prices Bottomed In December

Spot gold prices fell to a 10-1/2-month low at $1,122.35 an ounce in December, following the U.S. presidential election and after the U.S. Federal Reserve sounded an unexpectedly hawkish note on U.S. interest rates.

Paulson held stakes unchanged in AngloGold Ashanti, IAMGold and Randgold Resources, but reduced them in NovaGold Resources, the filings showed.

In the fourth quarter, spot gold prices dropped 12.5%, their biggest quarterly tumble in 3 1/2 years. Prices rallied briefly after Donald Trump won the U.S. presidential election in early November, but then fell.

By early February, prices reached a three-month high as attention shifted to worries over Trump's policies and political risks posed by elections in Europe.

Earlier this month, CI Investments, an investment manager of Toronto-based CI Financial, reported that it also cut shares in GLD and dissolved shares in Barrick Gold, though it held on to some of its shares of option calls in the miner.