Billionaire investor George Soros joined Northern Trust Corp. and BlackRock Inc. in cutting holdings of exchange-traded products backed by gold before a bear market in prices last month, while John Paulson maintained a stake that lost about $165 million in the first quarter.
Soros Fund Management LLC lowered its investment in the SPDR Gold Trust, the biggest such fund, by 12 percent to 530,900 shares as of March 31, compared with three months earlier, a Securities and Exchange Commission filing showed yesterday. Funds run by Northern Trust and BlackRock showed reductions of more than half, according to earlier filings. Paulson & Co., the largest investor in SPDR, held 21.8 million shares, while Schroder Investment Management Group bought 2.1 million.
Gold prices that reached a record in 2011 tumbled into a bear market last month, erasing $42 billion from the value of ETP assets this year, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Some investors lost faith in the metal as a store of value, favoring riskier assets, as equities soared to all-time highs and unprecedented stimulus measures by the world’s central banks failed to spur inflation. After the longest rally in nine decades, gold is headed for its first annual decline since 2000.