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Omega Cuts JPMorgan, Citigroup Stakes; Exits BofA Holding

Aug. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Leon Cooperman’s Omega Advisors Inc., which has earned an average of 13.3 percent annually since it was founded in 1991, reduced stakes in JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc. in the second quarter while exiting its holding in Bank of America Corp.

Omega sold 1.43 million shares of JPMorgan during the three-month period that ended June 30, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission today. The New York-based hedge fund sold 1.31 million shares of Citigroup, while exiting its 6.5 million share investment in Bank of America and opening positions in Express Scripts Holding Co. and Watson Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Cooperman exited positions in Anadarko Petroleum Corp., VeriSign Inc. and Seagate Technology PLC. Omega also sold its entire stake in SPDR Gold Trust, the biggest exchange-traded product backed by gold.

Omega, which invests its $6 billion in assets mainly in U.S. stocks, has returned an average of 13.3 percent annually since Cooperman founded it in 1991, compared with 11.4 percent for other equity-oriented funds, according to Chicago-based Hedge Fund Research Inc., Bloomberg Markets magazine reported in its August issue.

The hedge fund was among those boosting stakes in JPMorgan in the first quarter before the shares plunged because of a $2 billion trading loss. Omega bought 1.34 million shares of the New York-based bank, raising its stake to 2.22 million, according to a May 14 filing.

During the first quarter, Omega had also reduced stakes in Sunoco Inc., the Philadelphia-based refiner, and Regal Entertainment Group. The money manager had bought Wellpoint Inc., the second-biggest U.S. health plan, and Apple Inc. in the three-month period that ended March 31.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rita Nazareth in New York at rnazareth@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Lynn Thomasson at lthomasson@bloomberg.net

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