Soros shares in decline

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The Independent Online
SELLING pressure has halved the premium on shares in George Soros's Quantum fund since the end of last month. The decline suggests some investors are losing faith in the ability of Mr Soros to generate the outstanding returns achieved in the past.

The premium offered by the group to investors wanting to sell their shares has dropped to 14 per cent over net asset value from 28 per cent at the start of the last week in April.

At the same time, the premium new investors have to pay has come down to 18 per cent from 32 per cent. The 'bid' price at the end of last week was dollars 17,981 (pounds 11,995) almost dollars 2,000 less than three weeks ago. The 'offer' price was dollars 18,611 against nearly dollars 20,400. The net asset value itself is down by about 5 per cent this year.

Because of the group's penchant for privacy, hard information about the level of sales is not available, but dealers do not put it at 'flood' proportion.

Since the beginning of the year, investors have seen billions of dollars wiped off the value of their investments in hedge funds. Askin Granite, a dollars 600m group of funds, collapsed in March and other funds have recently made significant losses.

Mr Soros, regarded as the king of hedge fund operators, reportedly made dollars 1bn of profits speculating on the collapse of sterling in September 1992.

It is thought some private investors on the Continent are being advised by their banks to take profits, since little growth is expected from equity markets this year. Andmany international funds, which themselves hold shares in Quantum, are also said to be selling.

Dealers are watching the Quantum premium closely. Earlier this year, the offer premium was 39 per cent.

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