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Soros takes a bite of Apple after ditching gold

Jenny Cosgrave
Photo: Joshua Roberts | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Billionaire investor George Soros has been busy stocking up on hedge fund favorites after dumping all of his gold exchange traded fund (ETF) holdings in the second quarter, SEC regulatory filings revealed.

Soros Fund Management picked up 66,800 shares in Apple (AAPL), the filings showed, just a day after fellow billionaire investor Carl Icahn revealed that he had built up a "large stake" in the tech giant.

(Read more: Hedge fund holdings day: Top managers show their hands )

The Soros family office also added to its stake in the flailing retailer J.C. Penney (JCP), taking its holding to a total of 19.9 million shares. He added a call option on 500,000 shares, implying he expects the stock to rise.

The 9.1 percent position had a market value of $341.4 million at the end of June, according to the firm's second-quarter 2013 13F filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, which reveals its long positions.

The 83-year-old hedge fund industry veteran also took a 5 percent position in weight loss and nutritional supplement company Herbalife (HLF). He picked up 5 million shares valued at $227.5 million at the end of June, making it Soros's third largest holding.

(Read more; Hedge funds are back: 70% see positive July returns )

By contrast, he ditched all of his holdings in SPDR Gold Trust, which were valued at $82 million at the end of March, and Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF, worth $100.9 million.

Soros's positions on Herbalife and J.C. Penney appear at odds with rival hedge fund manager Bill Ackman, who revealed in December that he had shorted about 20 million shares in a bet against the company, accusing it of being a pyramid scheme. He also filed a complaint with the SEC accusing Soros of insider dealing over his Herbalife trades, sources told CNBC earlier this month.

(Read more: If your hedge fund is criminal, it'd better be big )

Ackman, who founded Pershing Square Capital Management, resigned from J.C. Penney's board this week after a public dispute with other board members on how best to turn the department store's fortunes around.

His bearish move on Herbalife also puts him head-to-head with Carl Icahn of Icahn Enterprises, who bought 611,354 shares of the stock, bringing his stake to just under 17 million shares, according to a separate filing.

-By CNBC's Jenny Cosgrave: Follow her on Twitter @jenny_cosgrave

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