NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- George Soros appears to be getting investment ideas from south of the equator.

The Hungarian-born billionaire has a remarkable international reach in both his politics and his investing. In 2015, his politics in Europe -- specifically in relation to Ukraine -- and his investments in China -- namely, Alibaba (BABA) - Get Report -- have put him in the headlines.

But he has an eye on other locales as well, including South American countries Argentina and Brazil.

Soros has been caught up in Argentina's battle with Paul Singer's Elliott Management and other hedge funds over the country's debt.

In September 2014, he met with President Christa Fernandez de Kirchner to discuss what a Soros spokesman called "a range of topics," including energy and the Argentine economy. He was among a group of investors who scored a victory in February when a court confirmed that the U.K. had jurisdiction over 225 million euros of interest payments on Argentine bonds frozen by a U.S. court order.

Bloombergreported in June that Soros had largely eliminated his holdings in Brazilian companies, citing reports from Brazilian newspapers of recent sales. However, his latest 13F filing, corresponding to June 30, demonstrates he hasn't abandoned the country. And in some cases, he has returned to investments he exited in previous quarters.

Here are six South American companies Soros is betting on according to his latest public equity holdings disclosure.


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Soros reduced his holdings in YPF (YPF) - Get Report to 11 million shares from 11.7 million in the second quarter of 2015. However, the Argentina-based energy company is still one of his most significant holdings.

Apart from the $2.4 billion he has invested in call and put options in the S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) - Get Report, YPF is his top bet. As of June 30, his stake is valued at $301.7 million. He has been investing in the company since 2013.

YPF hasn't had the best of performances on the market as of late, with its price declining 28.4% over the past year and 9.1% year-to-date. It reported second-quarter earnings on Aug. 5, including net income of $252.8 million, a 50.5% increase over the same period in 2014. Reuterspointed out that its earnings have been cushioned from falling international oil prices thanks to government controls.

Argentina renationalized YPF in 2012, ousting Spanish company Repsol (REPYY) as its majority shareholder in a rather controversial move.

YPF also shows up on a recent list of 8 Must-Own Stocks to Complete Your 'Sweet 16' Portfolio.


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Soros is a long-time shareholder of Adecoagro (AGRO) - Get Report, an agriculture company that operates in Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay. He owns 25.9 million Adecoagro shares valued at $238.9 million as of June 30.

Adecoagro, which is headquartered in Luxembourg, announced second-quarter earnings on August 13. Its net income for the quarter was $1.3 million, in line with the same period in 2014, while adjusted Ebitda was $39.5 million, 45.8% lower than the year prior.

Adecoagro shares have climbed 2.7% for the year to date.

Petróleo Brasileiro

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During the first quarter of the year, Soros called it quits on Petróleo Brasileiro (PBR) - Get Report, having reported a call option in the company in the fourth quarter of 2014 and both a call and common stock holding the quarter before. However, he has apparently returned to the Brazilian oil company and as of June 30 holds 636,742 shares valued at $5.1 million.

Petrobras has been plagued by controversy recently. It is at the center of a bribery scandal that has involved company executives and government officials alike. It has also contributed to a release of audited financials that entailed a $16.8 billion writedown, $2 billion of which were the result of corruption.

The company reported earnings on Aug. 7 of 2 cents per diluted share of $26 billion, compared with analysts' forecast of 27 cents per share on revenue of $24.05 billion.

Its stock price has fallen 20% so far in 2015.

Grupo Financiero Galicia

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Soros first picked up shares of Grupo Financiero Galicia (GGAL) - Get Report in the third quarter of 2014. As of June 30, he holds 198,077 shares worth $3.7 million, up slightly from the number of shares disclosed in his previous 13F.

Headquartered in Buenos Aires, Grupo Financiero Galicia boasts one of the largest banking operations in Argentina. It reported second-quarter financial results on August 6 and recorded a 36.9% increase in profit from the same period in 2014.

The stock has performed very well in 2015, climbing 30.6% year-to-date.

TIM Participações

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The last time Soros disclosed an investment in TIM Participações (TSU) - Get Report was Sept. 30, 2014. Nine months later, he appears to have returned to the investment, picking up to 200,000 shares valued at $3.3 million.

The Brazil-based mobile telecommunications company reported second-quarter financial results on Aug. 5. Total net revenues, service net revenues and organic operating expenses decreased year-over-year, while innovative mobile net revenue and fixed net revenue increased.

The stock has performed poorly in 2015, and its price has declined nearly 41% for the year to date.

Telecom Argentina 

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Soros initiated a small stake in Telecom Argentina (TEO) - Get Report in the first quarter of 2015 and boosted it slightly in the second. As of July 30, he owns 113,000 of the firm's shares, valued at $2 million.

A provider of fixed-line telecommunications and other telephone-related services in Argentina, Telecom Argentina is one of the country's leading phone companies. The company announced second-quarter and first-half 2015 results on Aug. 4. Consolidated revenue climbed 18.7% in the first six months of the year compared with the same period in 2014; however, the company's net financial position fell 128.3% to debt.

The stock has fallen nearly 17% so far in 2015.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.