© Reuters. Ray Dalio, Bridgewater’s Co-Chairman and Co-Chief Investment Officer speaks during the Skybridge Capital SALT New York 2021 conference in New York City, U.S., September 15, 2021. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
By Carolina Mandl
SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Bridgewater Associates, one of the world’s largest hedge funds, sold off U.S. bank stocks in the first quarter as the industry was roiled by the collapse of three lenders, according to regulatory filings.
The firm, founded by billionaire Ray Dalio, cut its holdings to zero in five U.S. banking giants: JPMorgan (NYSE:) & Co, Bank of America Corp (NYSE:), Wells Fargo (NYSE:) & Co, Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:).
It also roughly halved its exposure to Citigroup Inc (NYSE:), the filings showed.
The positions were revealed in quarterly securities filings known as 13-fs. While backward looking, these snapshots show what funds owned on the last day of the quarter and are one of the few ways that hedge funds and other institutional investors have to declare their positions. They may not reflect current holdings.
Global hedge funds cut their exposure to U.S. banking stocks to a near 10-year low in March and fled lending-sensitive shares amid turmoil in the industry following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank (OTC:).
Bridgewater did not immediately respond to a Reuters’ request for comment.
The firm also slashed its positions in smaller banks such as Bank of Hawaii Corp, Pacwest Bancorp (NASDAQ:), PNC Financial Services Group (NYSE:), Citizens Financial (NYSE:) Group and Capital One Financial Corp (NYSE:).
At the end of December, Bridgewater’s biggest stake in banks was Bank of America, valued at $106.2 billion, followed by $92.8 million in JPMorgan.
Bridgewater was also bearish on European banks in March, after the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank sparked contagion fears across global banks, a Reuters report showed. Following SVB, Signature Bank was also placed into receivership in March, while JPMorgan bought First Republic Bank (OTC:)’s assets earlier this month.