As of September 2015, George Soros’ most recent 13F filing showed a great deal of activity in his portfolio, which is not unusual for the successful hedge fund manager. He had 100 new stock purchases, 52 position increases and 52 position reductions. Soros is known for changing his mind and positions on a whim, and the activity in his portfolio reflects this behavior.

George Soros is one of the most famous investors in the world. He made around $1 billion in a day when he broke the Bank of England by shorting the pound in 1992. Soros was the head of the highly successful Quantum Fund hedge fund that operated until 2011. The fund returned money to its investors, and as of 2015, manages only Soros’ personal wealth as a family office. The following is a review of his most recent 13F filing.

S&P 500 Options

The bulk of Soros' portfolio is in option positions. According to the 13F, Soros added a huge position in call options in the SPRD S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSE: SPY). This exchange-traded fund tracks the S&P 500 stock index. Soros added over 8.8 million SPY call options with a market value of $1.8 billion. The position comprises 16% of his portfolio. Soros is clearly betting on a large increase in the S&P 500 index. This is a fairly dramatic change in position as his prior 13F filing had a lot of SPY puts.

The 13F filing also shows Soros still owns a large number of SPY put options comprising around 5.5% of his portfolio. He has around 2.9 million put options with a market value of $600 million. Soros reduced this position by around 2.4 million options during the second quarter. This is a little confusing since Soros has such a large position in SPY calls. The call options are betting on an increase in the stock market, while the put options are betting on a decline.

Soros is a sophisticated investor. It is likely he has substantial short positions in SPY options as well since he is spending over $2.4 billion in option premiums. The 13F filing only disclosed long equity and option positions and did not disclose sold options. It also did not disclose which month of options he purchased.

Thus, it is difficult to tell exactly how Soros is positioned with only partial information. He may have bull-call spread option positions betting on a limited move up in the SPY. He may also have bull-put spreads that involve selling a put option at a higher strike price and buying a put option at a lower strike price. The spread results in a net premium to the investor. That premium could then be used to buy some of the call option positions to the upside.

YPF

The largest stock position in Soros’ portfolio is in YPF S.A. (NYSE: YPF). YPF is an oil and gas exploration and production company located in Argentina. Soros owns 10.9 million shares at a market value of around $600 million with a portfolio weighting of 3.15%. He reduced his position in the company by 651,000 shares, a reduction of around 5%.

Alibaba

One interesting change in Soros’ portfolio is the near liquidation of his position in Alibaba Group Holding, Ltd. (NYSE: BABA). The Chinese Internet commerce giant had one of the most successful initial public offerings (IPOs) ever in 2014, but its share price has fallen in 2015 due to concerns of slowing Chinese growth. Soros reduced his position by 4.3 million shares, a 98% reduction. He only holds 59,000 shares with a market value of around $4.8 million. It is clear Soros is not bullish on Alibaba’s future prospects.

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