Romney to Submit Personal Financial Statement on Friday

Thursday, 31 May 2012 10:05 PM

 

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Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney is scheduled to deliver his latest personal financial disclosure statement to federal elections authorities on Friday, government and campaign sources said.

The financial statement, which last year ran to 28 pages, is expected to show that Romney sold "nearly all" his holdings in individual stocks since last year. Instead, he moved substantial wealth into cash, according to an analysis posted earlier this month on the Forbes.com website.

Government officials said that although Romney legally was required to submit his financial disclosure to the Federal Election Commission by Friday, it was unclear whether officials there would immediately make it public.

Before releasing the document, FEC lawyers will examine it for completeness and, if required information is missing, will work with the Romney campaign to fill holes. One official said that the FEC may take up to 30 days to review the document or could decide to release it immediately.

The Romney campaign also has the option of publicly releasing the material.

Forbes estimated Romney's current net worth at $230 million, split between nine different asset classes. This suggests that his wealth is roughly the same as it was a year ago, when news organizations published estimates of between $190 million and $250 million.

Forbes said its latest wealth estimate was based not only on his 2011 financial disclosure but also on "discussions with high-level Romney officials familiar with specific changes to his holdings since that report."

Romney's campaign did not respond to questions about Forbes' account of Romney's current wealth and holdings.

Forbes said Romney has the "biggest chunk" of his money - $91 million or more - invested in debt securities, including $36 million worth of Federal Home Loan Bank securities and $10 million in notes from Goldman Sachs and BNP Paribas. The website said that in recent months Romney "dumped" some foreign equities but bought debt issued by the governments of Canada, Australia and Sweden. He also holds a $400,000 note from the family's horse trainer.

Forbes said that Romney currently holds an estimated $52 million or more in investments related to Bain Capital, the private equity firm he launched in the 1980s and left in the late 1990s. He still holds stakes in what Forbes described as "dozens" of Bain investment funds.

Forbes said that Romney holds another $29 million in "alternative investments." This includes more than $1 million invested with hedge fund billionaire Paul Singer. Forbes said the account delivered Romney a net return of 4 percent in 2011, a year in which the average hedge fund return was -5 percent.

Forbes said that Romney's holdings include another $23 million or more in exchange-traded and mutual funds, real property worth $18 million or more and gold worth around $260,000. Since last August, the amount of cash held by the Romneys has jumped from around $1 million to around $16 million, it said.

While most of his cash is in US dollars, Romney also holds small amounts of Australian, Canadian and British currency, it said.

 

SHED MOST INDIVIDUAL STOCKS

Forbes quoted "sources" saying that since last August, Romney shed what it described as shares in 71 individual companies, including McDonalds, Google, Apple, JPMorgan and Walmex.

The website said that Romney still holds only three individual stocks: Ford Motor, Marriott International and Marriott Vacations Worldwide. Forbes noted that Romney has deep ties to the Marriott family, who are fellow Mormons.

Romney's 2011 financial disclosure included equity holdings in several publicly traded Chinese companies, among them Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Hang Lung PPTYS Ltd and Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing. All of these were held by Romney through Thornburg Investment Management in an account for which, Romney said, "all investment decisions are made by Thornburg, as manager, and not by Mr. Romney..."

Forbes said that Romney had "in recent months...dumped foreign equities held through Thornburg Investment Management." In campaign appearances, Romney has sometimes taken a hard line on China, saying that on Day One of a Romney presidency he would label China a "currency manipulator."

In a Wall Street Journal op-ed last February, Romney expressed concern that "a China that is a prosperous tyranny will increasingly pose problems for us, for its neighbors, and for the entire world."

 

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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