Lansdowne Partners Ltd., the biggest European hedge-fund firm focused on stock picking, reduced its stakes in Bank of America Corp. (BAC) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. during the second quarter.
The firm sold 35 million Bank of America shares in the three months through June, reducing its stake by more than 90 percent to $35.4 million, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission today. The London-based firm reduced its JPMorgan stake by 2.8 million shares to 15 million shares, valued at about $804.6 million, the filing shows.
The 24-member KBW Bank Index (BKX) rose 20 percent in the first half of 2013, outpacing the 13 percent gain for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. Bank of America was one of the KBW Index’s worst performers over that period, increasing 11 percent, while JPMorgan (JPM) gained 20 percent.
Lansdowne, which manages $13.4 billion, had held 27.5 million shares in Bank of America through its Developed Markets fund, the firm’s biggest hedge fund. That fund sold its entire position in the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank. The remaining stake is held by funds including Lansdowne’s Global Financials fund, according to the filings.
Lansdowne’s biggest second-quarter share increase was Comcast Corp. (CMCSA) The firm added 5 million shares of the cable-television provider and holds a position valued at about $853.2 million, according to the filing.
The firm’s Developed Markets fund gained 18 percent in the first seven months of this year, while the Global Financials fund rose 10 percent, according to a performance note sent to investors. Hedge funds focused on stocks rose 7.7 percent in the same period, according to Chicago-based Hedge Fund Research Inc.
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