Paulson Gorges On Gold

Aug 15 2012 | 12:12pm ET

Paulson & Co. has taken advantage of the recent swoon in gold prices to hoard more of its favorite precious metal.

The New York-based hedge fund bought up 4.5 million more shares of the SPDR Gold Trust exchange-traded fund and additional shares of NovaGold Resources and Allied Nevada Gold Corp. U.S. equities linked to gold bullion now account for a whopping 44% of the hedge fund's $21 billion in assets.

Paulson had cut its investment in the ETF in the previous two quarters. The buy was the first time Paulson had boosted his holdings of SPDR Gold since the first quarter of 2009. That was also the last time gold stocks made up so large a portion of Paulson's portfolio, at 46%.

It wasn't all gold buying for Paulson in the quarter, however: The hedge fund sold shares of AngloGold Ashanti and Gold Fields.

Paulson's largest hedge funds are down by double-digits this year.

Paulson wasn't alone in buying gold in the third quarter. George Soros, unlike John Paulson a gold skeptic, took the opportunity presented by the metal's losses to more than double his stake in the SPDR ETF. Soros had largely sold off his gold stake last year.

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