Soros dissolves SPDR Gold trust shares in third-quarter, Paulson stays in

Georges Soros, Chairman of Soros Fund Management, attends the annual conference of the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET) at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) headquarters in Paris April 9, 2015. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Soros Fund Management LLC dissolved its shares in the world’s biggest gold exchange-traded fund in the third quarter of 2016, ahead of the U.S. presidential election, a U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filing showed on Monday.

By the end of September, billionaire financier George Soros’ fund eliminated its position in SPDR Gold Trust as bullion prices briefly rose to the highest in more than two years, having held 240,000 shares worth $30.4 million in the second quarter,

Soros more than doubled its shares in miner Barrick Gold Corp to 2.85 million shares worth $50.5 million, from 1.07 million shares in the second quarter, the 13F filing showed.

Paulson & Co, led by longtime gold bull John Paulson, held its stake in SPDR Gold Trust unchanged at 4.78 million shares. Its value fell to $600 million by the end of the third quarter from $603.9 million in the second quarter.

Inflows into SPDR Gold Trust increased by more than 3 percent to a three-year high in the third quarter as higher gold prices typically attract investment money to bullion, which is often seen as a hedge against inflation. [GOL/ETF]

In July, spot gold prices extended the steep 25 percent gains made in the first half of 2016 to peak at $1,374.91 an ounce, the highest since March 2014. Prices eased nearly 3 percent by the end of September to $1,315.80 as expectations increased for the U.S. Federal Reserve to raise interest rates in December. Spot gold prices have since fallen to a 5-1/2 month low of $1,211.08.

In a 13F filing earlier this month, CI Investments Inc [CIXCI.UL], an investment manager of Toronto-based CI Financial Corp, reported that it sharply cut its stake in SPDR Gold Trust to 62,719 shares worth $7.88 million, from 9.4 million shares worth $1.19 billion at the end of June, when it was the second-biggest shareholder.

Jana Partners, led by activist investor Barry Rosenstein, remained out of gold after dissolving its share stake in SPDR Gold Trust in the second quarter.

Reporting by Marcy Nicholson; Editing by Bernard Orr and Diane Craft