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Mindich Follows Paulson Buying Fund Tracking Gold

Eric Mindich, the former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. partner who runs $13 billion hedge fund Eton Park Capital Management LP, followed John Paulson in making gold his biggest reported investment.

Eton Park bought 6.58 million shares of SPDR Gold Shares, an exchange-traded fund that tracks the price of bullion, in the second quarter, according to a filing today with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The investment was valued at $800.3 million as of June 30, making it the hedge fund’s biggest holding.

Paulson, who oversees $31 billion at New York-based hedge-fund firm Paulson & Co., was the largest holder of the fund, with 31.5 million shares valued at $3.43 billion as of March 31, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Hedge-fund managers such as George Soros and David Einhorn have been investing in bullion and stocks of gold miners amid the threat of inflation from higher government spending. Gold futures rose more than 12 percent this year to reach a record $1,266.50 an ounce on June 21.

Brendan McManus, a spokesman for New York-based Eton Park, declined to comment. Mindich, who was co-head of equities at New York-based Goldman, started his hedge fund in 2004 with $3.5 billion.

The firm also bought shares of Fidelity National Information Services Inc. and Apple Inc. in the second quarter.

Buying Morgan Stanley

Eton Park left unchanged its stake in Viacom Inc., its second-largest holding, at 13.5 million shares. New York-based Viacom is the owner of MTV Networks and Paramount Pictures.

Mindich’s fund increased its stake in Morgan Stanley during the second quarter by 10 million shares, bringing its holding to 15 million shares valued at $348.2 million at the end of June. The hedge fund also added to its holdings in Bank of America Corp. by buying 1.1 million shares in the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank, taking its stake to 21.1 million shares worth $303.3 million.

Eton Park cut its stake in Citigroup Inc. by 15 million shares, leaving the hedge fund with 60.5 million shares, according to the filing.

Financial companies were Eton Park’s biggest investments in the quarter, accounting for 25 percent of the $7.7 billion in reported holdings.

The SEC requires money managers who oversee more than $100 million in U.S. equities to report their holdings on a Form 13F within 45 days of the end of each quarter. The filing must include all holdings in stocks that trade on U.S. exchanges, as well as options and convertible debt.

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