Billionaire investor George Soros sold almost his entire stake in Alibaba Group Holding Limited (NYSE:BABA) in the second quarter of 2015, as shares of the Asian e-commerce giant continue to plunge.
The billionaire’s family company, Soros Fund Management, owned approximately $370 million in Alibaba’s American depositary receipts at the end of March. By June 30th, however, a regulatory filing shows that the company held only $4.9 million. (Source: BBC, last accessed August 17, 2015.)
Alibaba has fared extremely poorly throughout the Chinese stock market crisis, losing somewhere in the range of $100 billion in value since last November’s record high.
Soros sold off approximately 4.4 million shares in Alibaba, leaving his company with 59,320. He simultaneously reduced his stake in internet giant Baidu, Inc. (NASDAQ:BIDU) from 358,650 to 42,800 shares by March 31st.
But does this mean Soros has lost faith in the Chinese market, predicting an economic collapse?
Not exactly. It appears the billionaire is shuffling investments around, but still very much investing in the middle kingdom. His fund purchased 1.9 million shares in iShares China Large-Cap (NYSEArca:FXI), which tracks the biggest Chinese companies; and two million shares in the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets (NYSE:EEM), which tracks companies in the emerging market.
Soros’ company, which oversees approximately $30.0 billion, also turned its attention to its energy holdings during the first quarter of 2015, cutting investments in the struggling oil and gas sector. While the price of crude oil hit a yearly high of around $60.00 per barrel in June, it’s currently trading at under $42.00 this morning.
The oil price forecast has made Soros lose his appetite for energy at the moment, as the billionaire’s family office decided to sell off its holdings in both Suncor Energy Inc. (NYSE:SU) and Cenovus Energy Inc. (NYSE:CVE), while also drastically reducing its investments in Noble Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NBL) and EQT Corporation (NYSE:EQT). (Source: Bloomberg, last accessed August 17, 2015.)
Where instead did George Soros decide to put his money?
His family company chose to purchase a large stake in Time Warner Inc. (NYSE:TWX), making the media company Soros’ second-largest American stock holding with a stake of $259 million.
Time Warner is currently awaiting regulatory clearance before it will merge with Charter Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:CHTR). On August 4th, Soros Fund Management announced that Chief Investment Officer Scott Bessent would be leaving the company by the end of this year to start his own hedge-fund firm.