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Bridgewater Bets on Insurers, Brazil

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Bridgewater Associates, one of the world's largest and best-performing hedge funds, bet on U.S. insurance company stocks and a fund that tracks Brazilian stocks in the second quarter, according to Bloomberg data based on a 13F filing released Friday.

Though Bridgewater manages some $120 billion in assets, it has just $6.7 billion in U.S.-listed stocks, according to the Bloomberg data. The bulk of that is in broad-based exchange-traded funds that track U.S. and emerging-market stocks. Bridgewater's top three holdings, totaling nearly 80% of its U.S.-listed stock portfolio, are three exchange-traded funds, the SPDR S&P 500 (SPY), Vanguard MSCI Emerging Market (VWO) and iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index (EEM).

While individual company bets are comparatively small, insurers stood out.

Bridgewater, managed by investor Ray Dalio, increased its stake in MetLife (MET) to $15 million, making the life insurer its largest holding among U.S.-listed financial sector stocks. It also added to stakes in Hartford Financial Services Group (HIG), Prudential Financial (PRU) and AFLAC (AFL).

Bridgewater also established new positions in Unum Group (UNM), XL Group (xl), Allstate (ALL), ACE LTD (ACE), Marsh & Mclennan (MMC) and Lincoln National (LNC).

It did not decrease its stake in any insurers, though it did sell out of small stakes in Principal Financial Group (PFG), Genworth Financial (GNW) and Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.B).

Bridgewater's biggest single new purchase was a $103.5 million stake in iShares Brazil (EWZ), followed by a $12.23 million stake in Cliffs Natural Resources (CLF).

-- Written by Dan Freed in New York.

Follow this writer on Twitter.

Stock quotes in this article: EWZ, UNM, ALL, MET, ACE 
Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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