George Soros’ Actual Performance: his Spanish Portfolio

I have always been curious about Soros’ actual performance as a stock market investor, since there are no public records about this. As he began to invest in several quoted Spanish companies in December 2013, I decided to build a portfolio made up of those investments.

Soros first made a bet on the troubled building company Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas (FCC) in December 2013. He bought a 72 million € stake. Two months before, Bill Gates had invested 114 million € in the same company. They both paid around 15 € per share. In December 2015 FCC closed at 7 € but it launched a rights issue in December 2014 at 4.2 € per share.

In February 2014, the billionaire investor bought a stake of 174 million € in Bankia, paying 1.51 € per share, which now trade at 0.75 €. The bank paid a 0.0175 € dividend in 2015. In April 2014 he bought 1.2 million shares of the electric company Iberdrola at 4.85 €, now at 5.93 €. In the same month he bought 10 million € Lieberbank stock at 0.485 €. The following month he invested 92 million € in the real estate agency Hispania in exchange for a stake of 18.4% in the company. In November 2014 he bought some 15 million shares at the Endesa IPO at 13.5 €, now at 16.58 €.

In January 2015 he made his biggest bet in the Spanish stock market. He invested 500 million € at Banco Santander‘s rights issue. He paid 6.18 € for share, wich trade at 3.69 € at present. The following month he invested 100 million € in the airport operator Aena at 58 € per share, his biggest success since the shares are trading at 104 €. Also in February he bought a stake in the new renewable energy company Saeta Yield. As the amount invested is unknown, it’s not included in the portfolio.

The table below shows Soros’ Spanish portfolio performance in 2015. December 2014 prices for Banco Santander and Aena are those actually paid by Soros in January and February 2015.

SOROS2015

The portfolio return was a modest gain of 0.27% but it was better than the main benchmark for the Spanish stock market, the IBEX with dividends, which lost 3.55% in 2015. All shares in the portfolio are in the IBEX index except Liberbank and Hispania.

However, Saeta Yield lost 19% in 2015 but, as aforementioned, it hasn’t been included in the portfolio. It is known that Soros’ investment in the company was quite big, so the impact on the return must have been meaningful.

The following table shows Soros’ portfolio performance in the first two months of 2016. It loses 13.42% while the benchmark is down 11.93% so far.

SOROS_FEB2016