Billionaire Soros scoops up $264 million stake in world’s largest gold miner

After three years of not buying gold, Soros Fund Management, a company founded by legendary hedge fund billionaire George Soros, is not only back to acquiring the precious metal, but has grabbed a US$264 million stake in Barrick Gold (TSX,NYSE:ABX).

The fund disclosed that it now owns 19.4 million shares in the world’s No. 1 gold miner, equivalent to a 1.7% stake in the company. That makes of Barrick the fund’s biggest US-listed holding.

It also bought bullish options contracts on 1.05 million shares in the SPDR Gold Trust, which tracks the price of bullion.

According to a government filing Monday, the firm also bought bullish options contracts on 1.05 million shares in the SPDR Gold Trust, which tracks the price of bullion.

The fund, currently structured as a privately owned family office, also took out a new 1 million share stake in the first quarter in precious metals streaming company Silver Wheaton (TSE, NYSE:SLW), CNBC reports.

Gold prices climbed 16% in the first three months of the year, the biggest quarterly surge since 1986. Shares in Barrick have more than doubled this year as the miner steps up cost-cutting efforts and reduces debt. The company is so far one of the best performers on the Toronto Stock Exchange.