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AXA Dumps Goldman Shares, Pushes Into Money Centers

French insurance AXA is apparently betting on large diversified U.S. banks.



) -- French insurance giant


is apparently betting on diversified U.S. banks such as

JPMorgan Chase

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Bank of America

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Wells Fargo

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(C) - Get Citigroup Inc. Report

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as opposed to. U.S. investment banks, including

Goldman Sachs

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AXA reduced its stake in Goldman Sachs by more than half during the June-ending quarter, bringing its total holdings in the investment firm to 2.05% from 5%. Axa cut its stake by 16.4 million shares to a total of 10.5 shares, according to

Securities and Exchange Commission

filings obtained through

Edgar Online


The stake amounted to roughly $1.47 billion based on Friday's closing price, down from $2.29 billion.

Axa was Goldman's largest single shareholder, according to the

Financial Times


Other institutional holders that also reduced their stakes in Goldman during the June-ending quarter included T. Rowe Price,


(BCS) - Get Barclays PLC Report

and Janus Capital Group among others.

AXA also cut its exposure to

Morgan Stanley

(MS) - Get Morgan Stanley Report

and several regional banks including


(BBT) - Get BB&T Corporation Report

, preferring instead to invest in large U.S. money-center banks.

Goldman Sachs' stock was rising modestly as the market opened. The stock is down 28% since hitting a 52-week-high of $193.60 on Oct. 14, but up 8% from its year low of $129.50 reached last month.

--Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York.

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Laurie Kulikowski


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