Billionaire George Soros’s investment firm added to financial stocks in the first quarter, including shares of JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Suntrust Banks Inc. He sold the company’s stake in Google Inc.
The $25 billion Soros Fund Management LLC, based in New York, increased the value of its stake in financials by 7 percent, including 606,000 shares of JPMorgan worth $28 million as of March 31, and 3.2 million shares of Atlanta-based Suntrust valued at $77 million, according to a filing yesterday with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Shares of New York-based JPMorgan have fallen 11 percent since the company disclosed a $2 billion trading loss on May 10. The trades in synthetic credit derivatives led to the resignation of senior managers and prompted Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon to say the investments were “flawed, complex, poorly reviewed, poorly executed and poorly monitored.”
Soros also purchased 3.75 million shares of Sugar Land, Texas-based CVR Energy Inc. valued at $100 million as of March 31. On May 7, billionaire Carl Icahn won the right to acquire the oil refiner after a majority of CVR shareholders agreed to sell their stakes to him for $30 a share. The shares have climbed 62 percent this year.
The firm sold 260,000 shares of Mountain View, California- based Google, a stake that was valued at $168 million at the end of the quarter.
The value of the firm’s U.S. stock holdings rose to $5.75 billion from $4.18 billion at the end of 2011, according to the filing.
Michael Vachon, a spokesman for Soros, declined to comment.
Money managers who oversee more than $100 million in U.S. equities must file a Form 13F within 45 days of the end of each quarter to list their holdings in stocks that trade on U.S. exchanges, as well as options and convertible debt.
Hedge funds are lightly regulated pools of capital whose managers can invest in any asset, and share in annual profits.
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