Billionaire hedge fund manager John Paulson stuck with his holding in the world’s biggest gold exchange-traded product at a time when other investors were dumping the metal.
Paulson & Co., the largest holder of the SPDR Gold Trust, kept its stake at 10.23 million shares in the three months ended Dec. 31, a government filing showed. The position was unchanged for a sixth straight quarter.
Assets in the SPDR fund slumped 11 percent in 2014, and reached 704.83 metric tons in January, the lowest since September 2008. Gold prices dropped 1.5 percent last year, capping a consecutive annual decline for the first time since 1998. Gains for equities and the prospect of rising U.S. interest rates prompted some investors to lose faith in the metal as a store of value.
Gold for April delivery added 0.1 percent to $1,209.50 an ounce on the Comex in New York at 2:32 p.m. in Singapore. Prices reached $1,130.40 on Nov. 7, the lowest since April 2010, and slumped 28 percent in 2013.
Global demand slid to a five-year low of 3,923.7 tons in 2014, the World Gold Council said in a report Feb. 12. Assets in global bullion ETPs declined by 164.4 tons last year, data compiled by Bloomberg show.
While investor interest has waned, U.S. demand for jewelry made from the metal reached a five-year high in 2014, data from London-based World Gold Council show.
Paulson uses the SPDR ETF to back his funds’ gold share classes, which offer holdings denominated in bullion for investors interested in decoupling their assets from the value of the dollar.
Armel Leslie, a spokesman of New York-based Paulson & Co. with Peppercomm, declined to comment on the filing.
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