Lansdowne Reduces Holdings in Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase

Lansdowne Partners Ltd., the biggest European hedge-fund firm focused on stock picking, reduced its stakes in Bank of America Corp. 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 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 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.

The Lansdowne financial fund sold its entire Morgan Stanley stake of 1.9 million shares and its holding of 260,000 shares of Goldman Sachs Group Inc., today’s filing shows.

Lansdowne’s biggest second-quarter share increase was Comcast Corp. 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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