Facebook vs Soros

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After his criticism in Davos, Facebook admitted to having investigated the billionaire, whose family office is no longer shareholder of the social network.

Earlier this year, George Soros, the famous hedge fund manager had harshly criticized Facebook at the Davos forum, saying the group was "a threat to society." Facebook admitted that he then instructed the company Definers Public Affairs, with which he no longer maintains relationships, to investigate who was behind the "Freedom from Facebook" campaign and whether George Soros was involved. "We had not heard such criticism from him before and we wanted to know if he had a financial incentive," according to Facebook's internal memo.

When he pronounced his charge against Facebook, his family office no longer held any Facebook action. He had sold his 110,000 shares in the last quarter of 2017. His investment company has again bought Facebook shares in the second quarter of 2018, 159,200 titles, amounting to $ 31 million. It sold the entire stake in the third quarter.

The billionaire had again targeted Facebook and Google in a perspective published in February by Project Syndicate accusing them of being "obstacles to innovation." These quasi-monopolies "deceive users by manipulating their attention," he said.

Third quarter in the red

In the third quarter, the George Soros family office significantly reduced its investments in Netflix, but also in Goldman Sachs, hard hit by the 1MDB scandal. At the end of June, he held 65,000 shares in the US bank, and only 28,000 at the end of September. He bought shares of the Micron Group and Alibaba in the third quarter. Its US equity portfolio fell 27% in the third quarter to $ 4.5 billion. Its family office that invests in all markets and abroad manages around $ 27 billion.

In theory, George Soros no longer intervenes on the management and investment choices of his family office. The latter is responsible for generating income to feed his foundation. But the billionaire still manages himself a small portfolio … for the pleasure of staying in touch with the markets.

Nessim Ait-Kacimi