Economy & Finance

Paulson says he’s staying put, not moving to Puerto Rico

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BOSTON (Reuters) – Hedge fund titan John Paulson, who oversees $18 billion in assets from his offices in New York, said on Friday he has no plans to leave the island of Manhattan for the island of Puerto Rico.

In an unusual move, Paulson, a life-long New Yorker who guards his personal life zealously, had his firm, Paulson & Co, put out a news release to rebut speculation that he might pick up his family and move to the Caribbean.

“He has no plans to move to Puerto Rico,” his spokesman said in a statement. “While Mr. Paulson has considered real estate investments and has vacationed on the Island, he has no plans to establish a permanent residence there.”

Bloomberg News reported earlier this week that Paulson, 57, whose estimated net worth is put at $11.2 billion by Forbes, was mulling a move to take advantage of a new law that would eliminate taxes on gains on the money he has invested with his hedge funds. He currently lives and works in Manhattan.

Seeking more favorable tax treatment is not new in the hedge fund industry. Edward Lampert moved his $10.5 billion ESL Investments to Florida from Connecticut last year for tax reasons.

Interest in Paulson’s moves has been strong ever since his contrarian bet against the housing market earned him billions in 2007. In the last two years, however, some of his funds have made headlines with heavy losses as Paulson was too optimistic on an economic recovery and has stuck with gold and gold miners even as the metal’s price has fallen. Most of Paulson & Co’s staff is employed in New York.

(Reporting By Svea Herbst-Bayliss- editing by John Wallace)

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