Soros Fund Management ups Goldman stake, buys Snap shares in first quarter

Business magnate George Soros arrives to speak at the Open Russia Club in London, Britain June 20, 2016. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor/File Photo

US-INVESTMENT-FUNDS-SOROS:Soros Fund Management ups Goldman stake, buys Snap shares in first quarter

By Jennifer Ablan

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Soros Fund Management LLC, founded by billionaire investor George Soros, boosted the firm's share stake in Goldman Sachs Group Inc by nearly 40 percent during the first quarter and also purchased shares in Snap Inc, parent of the wildly popular Snapchat messaging app, during the first three months of the year, regulatory filings on Monday showed.

Soros increased its stake in Goldman Sachs to 86,800 shares, as financials came under severe selling pressure during the first quarter. It purchased a stake of 1.7 million class A shares in Snap. Snap jumped 8 percent on Monday, accelerating its rebound in the second strongest day since its initial public offering in early March.

Late on Wednesday, Snap shares plunged 23 percent after its debut quarterly earnings report disappointed investors.

Soros Fund Management lifted its stake in Facebook Inc by 80.4 percent to 638,086 class A shares, while increasing its stake in American Airlines Group Inc to 116,950 shares and more than tripling its stake in Microsoft Corp to 12,800 shares.

Soros Fund Management increased its share stake in Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co from 1.1 million shares to 3.2 million shares, the filings showed.

Soros Fund Management also took a stake of 233,500 shares in Activision Blizzard Inc, while purchasing a new stake of 32,100 shares in Chesapeake Energy Corp.

Soros also took a stake of 29,600 shares in Twitter Inc and a new stake of 14,300 class A shares in Visa Inc.

The quarterly disclosures of manager stock holdings, in what are known as 13F filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, are always intriguing for investors trying to divine a pattern in what savvy traders are selling and buying.

But relying on the filings to develop an investment strategy comes with some peril because the disclosures are backward looking and come out 45 days after the end of each quarter.

Still, the filings offer a glimpse into what hedge fund managers saw as opportunities to make money on the long side. The filings don't disclose short positions, bets that a stock will fall in price. And there is little disclosure on bonds and other securities that do not trade on exchanges.

Upon request, the SEC also permits managers to omit sensitive stock positions from 13F filings. As a result, the public filings do not always present a complete picture of a manager's stock holdings.

(Reporting by Jennifer Ablan; Editing by David Gregorio)

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