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Druckenmiller Reloads on Amazon, BlueCrest Bolsters Gold Bet

(Bloomberg) -- Stanley Druckenmiller’s Duquesne Family Office reloaded on Amazon.com Inc., adding a $102 million position in the third quarter after selling its entire $199 million stake in the prior three-month period.

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Duquesne continued to scale back its stake in Microsoft Corp., according to the firm’s 13F filing Monday. Other new positions include about $30 million of Sea Ltd., the maker of battle royale game Free Fire whose stock tumbled 75% this year through the third quarter, and $22 million of Meta Platforms Inc.

Family offices, the investment firms of the ultra-rich, took different approaches in the third quarter, which was rife with volatility. From June 30 to Aug. 16, the S&P 500 Index gained almost 16%, only to fall 17% from then to the end of September as Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell indicated the central bank would still raise interest rates aggressively.

At BlueCrest Capital Management, Michael Platt’s investment firm, there was an increase in stocks tied to commodities, with the purchase of more than 1 million of the SPDR Gold Shares, making it the largest disclosed holding. It also raised wagers on Matador Resources Co. and Chord Energy Corp. as part of increased exposure to energy and materials companies.

BlueCrest’s US equity holdings totaled almost $1 billion at the end of the quarter, a fraction of its overall bets, but a rare glimpse into a secretive firm that runs money for Platt and his partners. The firm is up 114% this year benefiting from bonds and commodities trading.

Read: Michael Platt’s BlueCrest Set for Record Year With 114% Gain

BlueCrest has been on a hiring spree to bolster its team of traders, adding a slew of commodities specialists this year, including Amir Ravan, who was previously head of Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s precious-metals trading division.

Soros Fund Management boosted its stake in Biohaven Pharmaceutical Holding Company Ltd. to $336 million, while taking a new $81 million position in Chemocentryx Inc. The firm, with almost $5 billion in US equities, still holds a small $24 million position in Elon Musk’s Tesla Inc., which it added in the second quarter.

Iconiq Capital, a multifamily office which has served high-profile Silicon Valley clients like Mark Zuckerberg, Sheryl Sandberg, Jack Dorsey and Reid Hoffman, reduced its stake in DoorDash Inc., after reporting a new $275 million position in the company in the prior three-month period. It also sold 3 million shares of Snowflake Inc., though the company remains its biggest single holding.

David Tepper’s Appaloosa Management didn’t add any new stocks in the third quarter, though it shed its entire positions in Kohl’s Corp., Occidental Petroleum Corp. and Micron Technology Inc.

Blue Pool Capital, which manages part of the fortunes of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. co-founders Joe Tsai and Jack Ma, had only Blue Owl Capital in its US equities portfolio as of June 30. While it still makes up the overwhelming majority of its holdings, the firm also added stakes in Charter Communications Inc., AT&T Inc., Intel Corp. and Adobe Inc. in the following three months.

The investment firm that manages the Walton family’s fortune decreased its holdings in emerging-market funds. The asset class has been pummeled this year, with the MSCI Emerging Markets Index down 24% since Dec. 31.

SEC rules require investors who manage more than $100 million in US equities to disclose their holdings quarterly, with some exceptions granted to family offices upon appeal.

(Updates with BlueCrest investments in fourth paragraph.)

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