George Soros may have been preoccupied lately with promoting his solution to the eurozone debt crisis at Davos and his new book, but he has also been busy on the investment front. The 81-year old stock market guru, who famously bet against sterling during the Black Wednesday crisis in the 1990s, pocketing a $1bn profit, has been building up stakes in a handful of technology stocks.
According to the Wall Street Journal’s blog, Deal Journal, Securities and Exchange Commission filings show that Soros Fund Management boosted its position in search engine giant Google during the fourth quarter but sold off its stake in Amazon.
Soros’ shareholding in Google has increased from 258,774 shares to 259,900. Worth $168m, this makes it the fifth biggest stake in his fund, accounting for 7.3%, notes Forbes Online. Overall, Soros has increased his holdings in technology stocks by nearly 17% and they now represent almost 24% of his portfolio.
The billionaire also snapped up a $101m stake in Comverse Technology. Both purchases may be an attempt to cash in on the growth of mobile phone sales, reckons Forbes Online. Israel-based Comverse provides mobile internet services while Google has become the largest producer of smartphone software.
Although its Android software lost market share in the fourth quarter, Forbes points out that analysts at Gartner expect iPhone sales to fall in the next quarter and “smaller competitors, whose devices can run on Android [to] become more aggressive”.
Soros has also increased his shareholdings in US financial services provider Wells Fargo and Delta Air Lines. What’s more, like MoneyWeek, Soros remains a fan of gold. According to the Wall Street Journal’s blog, he has raised his holding in the SPDR Gold Trust, an exchange-traded fund, to 85,450 shares from 48,350 shares in the third quarter.
Soros also seems to be focusing his efforts on fewer investments. He has slashed the number of holdings by around two-thirds, from 473 in the third quarter to just 145. The value of the fund’s holdings fell from $5.8bn at the end of September to $4.6bn.