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Sunday, December 8, 2013

George Soros racks up stake in newly-floated Hibernia REIT

Legendary billionaire investor George Soros is one of the biggest backers of the €365m Hibernia REIT, the property investment vehicle that floated last Friday.

The Soros-run Quantum fund has an 8.22 per cent stake in the Hibernia REIT, which was set up to invest in the Irish property market recovery. Soros, known as the "man who broke the Bank of England" for his bet against the British pound in the 1992, has invested in Irish groups before, taking stakes in Elan and Amarin as well as buying into Ardmore Shipping.

The Soros group is joined by Wall Street titan Louis Bacon's Moore capital and the vast US group CREF, which manages pensions and investments for thousands of US teachers

George Soros
George Soros

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George Soros was born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1930. His father was taken prisoner during World War I and eventually fled from captivity in Russia to reunite with his family in Budapest. Soros was thirteen years old when Hitler's Wehrmacht seized Hungary and began deporting the country's Jews to extermination camps. In 1946, as the Soviet Union was taking control of the country, Soros attended a conference in the West and defected. He emigrated in 1947 to England, supported himself by working as a railroad porter and a restaurant waiter, graduated in 1952 from the London School of Economics, and obtained an entry-level position with an investment bank.

In 1956, Soros immigrated to the United States, working as a trader and analyst until 1963. During that time, he developed his own theory of markets called 'reflexivity', which he has laid out in his recent books THE ALCHEMY OF FINANCE and THE CREDIT CRISIS OF 2008 AND WHAT IT MEANS. In 1967 he helped establish an offshore investment fund; and in 1973 he set up a private investment firm that eventually evolved into the Quantum Fund, one of the first hedge funds, through which he accumulated a vast fortune.