Legendary financier George Soros bets big on Amazon and Alphabet

The rout in financial markets in the second quarter did not scare billionaire George Soros.

The legendary investor shopped in the tech sector even as investors sold off tech stocks over fears of recession. Indeed, the second quarter was marked by a drop in the Nasdaq index, dominated by technology groups. The Nasdaq lost almost 23% between April 1 and June 30.

The Federal Reserve’s rate hike to fight inflation, then the highest in 40 years, raised fears of a hard landing for the economy. Investors fearing a recession liquidated their positions in risky assets. This particularly affects technology, which lives mainly on promises of future products and services.

“If I had to bet, I’d say this could be one of the worst downturns we’ve seen in recent history,” said Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive of Meta Platforms, the parent company of social media giant Facebook. (META) told employees on June 30.

Investors panicked when many tech groups, including big names like Alphabet (GOOGL) parent company of Google, Meta, Microsoft (MSFT) announced that they were freezing or slowing the pace of hiring. These announcements have reinforced fears that the future is uncertain.

Soros also increased his stake in Salesforce, Qualcomm

It now appears that Soros, 92, was not more worried than that. The iconic investor started betting heavily on Amazon. He thus massively bought shares of the e-commerce giant. As of June 30, his company Soros Fund Management held 2,004,500 Amazon shares worth about $213 million, up from 70,717 Amazon shares as of March 31, according to a regulatory filing Aug. 12.

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The company also increased its Alphabet shares by 10.4% from March 31. Soros Fund Management held 53,175 Alphabet shares as of June 30 worth $5.8 million, according to the SEC filing.

Since June 30, the Nasdaq has rebounded more than 18% after somewhat reassuring second-quarter results from tech companies. Shares of Amazon, for example, have jumped more than 35% since June 30, while those of Alphabet are up 11.7% over the same period. Basically, Soros has already seen the value of its latest acquisitions increase.

Besides Alphabet and Amazon, Soros also acquired additional shares in Salesforce (RCMP) and semiconductor manufacturer Qualcomm (COMQ) . Soros Fund Management owns 627,509 Salesforce shares, up 138.3% from March 31, and 229,582 Qualcomm shares, up 49% from three months earlier. His stake in Salesforce is now valued at $103.56 million.

Stock market regulations require fund managers with more than $100 million in US stocks to file a document, called a 13F, within 45 days of the end of the quarter listing their stock holdings traded on US stock exchanges.

The value of Soros’ US equity portfolio rose 5.3% quarter over quarter to $5.6 billion. Soros Fund Management is a family office that manages public and private funds.

“SFM invests globally in a wide range of strategies and asset classes, including public equities, fixed income, commodities, currencies, alternative assets and private equity”, the company said on its website.

Soros, whose net worth is estimated at $8.5 billion as of August 12 according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, is well known for pouring money into philanthropic endeavors. Most of his company’s assets are owned by Open Society Foundations, which supports “people around the world working for justice, equity, and free speech.”

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