June was exceptionally unkind to Paulson & Co., even for those funds that did not lose $574 million on a single investment.
The New York-based hedge fund giant saw all of its hedge fund lose ground last month, none more so than the Advantage Plus Fund, the $37 billion firm's largest. That fund dropped 11% in June—leaving its dollar-denominated share class down 18% on the year and its gold-denominated share class down 12%—primarily on the firm's disastrous investment in Chinese timber company Sino-Forest Corp., Bloomberg News reports.
Sino-Forest shares dropped by more than 80% last month after hedge fund Muddy Waters accused the company of overstating its timberland holdings in China's Yunnan Province. Paulson had owned 12.5% of the company but sold its entire stake after the Muddy Waters report.
Paulson's flagship Advantage Fund, which also owned Sino-Forest shares, lost a further 7.3% in June and was down 12% in the first half. The gold-denominated version of the fund lost 8.1% on the month, wiping out its small year-to-date gain and leaving it down 7% for the first six months of the year.
Paulson's other funds hardly did better. Its Gold Fund dropped 8.6% in June, also pushing it into the red year-to-date, down 7.9%. The firm's Partners Enhanced Fund fell 4.7% in June to cut its year-to-date returns to 6.1%; that fund's gold version lost 5.8% in June but is up 8.9% on the year.
The Paulson Recovery Fund fell 3.6% in June to slash its first half return to just 1.2%, although the gold version remains up 3.4% on the year after losing 5.2% last month. And Paulson's Credit Opportunities Fund shed 2.7% in June to cut its six-month return to 5%; the gold shares fell 3.9% on the month and are up 7.9% on the year.
All is not yet lost, of course: Paulson Advantage was down by double-digits as late as September of last year but finished 2010 up 11%.