US hedge funds lift lid on top stock holdings

Michael Bow
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BILLIONAIRE hedge fund managers including Warren Buffett revealed a raft of big stock trades yesterday amid a resurgence in investors backing top US brand names.

Buffett, who this year snapped up ketchup maker Heinz in a £18bn (£11.5bn) deal, said his Berkshire Hathaway outfit had upped stakes in General Motors and US Bancorp while keeping investments in top brands like Coca-cola and Walmart.

Activist investor Dan Loeb, who runs hedge fund Third Point Capital, also poured cash into Coca-Cola as well as iconic film maker Walt Disney in the three months ending June.

The disclosure of what hedge fund managers buy and sell are part of closely watched regulatory filings made every quarter to the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

The 13F filings, as they are known, are followed by the investment community as a window into top investors’ strategies.

Top investor George Soros revealed he joined the booming tech brand bandwagon last quarter by taking bigger stakes in Apple and Google.

Soros more than doubled his investment in the company and now owns 66,800 shares in the firm, up from 26,800 in March.

He joins rival investor Carl Icahn, who on Tuesday revealed a large stake in Apple, adding about $17bn to its market cap.

Hedge fund boss John Paulson, who made billions shorting sub-prime mortgages before the global financial meltdown, also raised eyebrows by disclosing he had halved his exposure to gold.

Paulson was one of the strongest advocates for the yellow metal but yesterday revealed he had slashed his holding of SPDR Gold Trust, a gold exchange traded fund, from 21.8m to 10.2m shares.

Soros and Loeb also sold out of the SPDR Gold Trust, with Soros selling 530,900 shares and Loeb offloading 130,000 shares.