Hedge fund Bridgewater Associates raised its investment in gold-backed exchange-traded funds (ETFs) by a third in the second quarter, buying the equivalent of 170 000 oz of gold worth $340-million at current prices, a regulatory filing showed.
The move is part of a wider rush among investors to buy gold, which they hope will hold its value as the coronavirus crisis upends markets and pushes down returns on bonds.
Bullion prices have already surged almost 30% this year to record levels around $2 000/oz.
ETFs store gold on investors' behalf.
Bridgewater, led by billionaire Ray Dalio, bought 1.4-million shares in the SPDR Gold Shares ETF, equivalent to around 130 000 oz of gold, in the April to June quarter, it said in the filing on Wednesday.
It also bought 4.1-million shares in the iShares Gold Trust representing around 41 000 oz of gold.
Its investment in SPDR Gold Shares was worth $914-million on June 30, up from $601-million at the end of March, when it had just over four-million shares in the fund.
Its stake in iShares was worth $268.4-million, up from $176-million in March, when it had 11.7-million shares.
The rise in the value of Bridgewater's position is owing both to the addition of shares and the higher gold price.
The total value of Bridgewater's assets included in the 13F filing, which discloses equity investments, was $6-billion.