Soros' $24bn family investment fund bet against the Japanese economy in the last three months, sources close to the tycoon told the Wall Street Journal. The bets helped the firm make returns of about 10% last year and 5% so far this year, according to the sources.
The yen has plummeted against every major global currency since it became apparent in November that Japan planned to boost its economy by aggressive monetary stimulus. It has lost 17% of its value over that period – the worst performance over a similar period since 1985.
The bets were made by Scott Bessent, chief investment officer at Soros Fund Management. He gambled that the value of the yen would fall while Japanese shares would rise. The country's benchmark Nikkei 225 index has jumped by 28% since the end of September.
Bessent joined Soros Fund Management in 1991, and ran the firm's London office for eight years, where he played a key role in crafting the firm's bet that the Bank of England would be forced to devalue the pound during the 1992 Black Wednesday crisis. The $10bn bet against sterling made Soros a profit of $1bn.
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