Billionaire George Soros cashed out on Elon Musk’s Tesla’s impressive stock-market rebound this year by selling his entire stake in the first quarter.
According to regulatory filings, Soros Fund Management, the financier’s hedge fund, liquidated all Tesla shares acquired since the second quarter of 2022.
Tesla shares jumped 68% in the first quarter, thanks to a broad rally in the technology sector amid expectations that cooling inflation would allow the Federal Reserve to halt its interest-rate increases. The stock has pared its advance since then, and is currently up about 37% year-to-date.
Soros’s hedge fund had surprised everyone by adjusting its investment strategy in the automotive industry starting that quarter.
Soros progressive increase in Tesla shares recently
The billionaire, who was content to bet on EV upstarts like Lucid Motors and Rivian, also disclosed a stake in Tesla. He first acquired 29,883 Tesla shares valued at just over $20.1 million as of June 30.
He continued to trust Tesla, taking advantage of a stock plunge of more than 50% between January and September 2022 to triple his stake to 89,647 Tesla shares as of Sept. 30.
In the fourth quarter of 2022, Soros continued his strategy of acquiring Tesla shares. He held 132,046 shares as of Dec. 31, according to filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. This represented an increase of 42,399 shares, compared to Sept. 30. His stake in Tesla was then valued at nearly $16.27 million.
Tesla intends to produce up to 2 million vehicles in 2023, after having manufactured 1.37 million last year. To this good news, one must add the beginning of the production, later this year, of the Cybertruck, the firm’s very first pickup truck.
It recently became the most valuable car brand in the world, according to the latest survey from Brand Finance.
The electric-car pioneer, led by Elon Musk, saw its brand value skyrocket by 44% to $66.2bn, making it the first car brand to take pole position from traditional combustion engines.
This is the first time that Tesla has grabbed the top spot, surpassing last year’s leader, Mercedes-Benz, whose brand value fell by 3% to $58.8bn.
Soros, a boogeyman for conservatives
Soros, a Hungarian-American businessman and philanthropist, had a net worth of US$8.6 billion in March 2021.
He has donated more than $32 billion to the Open Society Foundations, representing 64% of his original fortune. Forbes called Soros the “most generous giver” (in terms of percentage of net worth).
Soros’s extensive funding of political causes has made him an enemy of European nationalists.
In 2018, The New York Times reported that “conspiracy theories about him have gone mainstream, to nearly every corner of the Republican Party”.
Numerous American conservatives have promoted false claims that characterize Soros as a dangerous “puppet master” behind alleged global plots. Conspiracy theories targeting Soros, who is of Jewish descent, have often been called antisemitic.