Paulson and Soros Buy Citi -- Would You?

The big fourth quarter bets from the famed hedge fund managers George Soros and John Paulson are revealed, and both like shares of Citigroup. Do you?
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NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) -- It's the time of the year when the investment world's legends are required to release their quarterly holdings, a glimpse of the trading strategies recently in favor among the gurus of the investment world's billionaires.

Tuesday was a banner day in this regard, with famed hedge fund managers

John Paulson

and

George Soros

filing their quarterly holdings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as a filing from

Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway.

While Buffett's filing shows that he continues to like

Wells Fargo

(WFC) - Get Report

-- no news to anyone, really, as Buffett has even talked Wells Fargo stock up on television in recent weeks --

Buffett also shed some shares of regional bank

SunTrustBanks

(STI) - Get Report

.

Still, the big banking news among the triumvirate of closely watched investment manager filings from Tuesday was that both hedge-fund heavyweights

Soros and

Paulson are bullish on

Citigroup

(C) - Get Report

.

Soros' filing revealed that his hedge fund made its first big move into Citi shares in the fourth quarter of 2009, with a purchase of 95 million shares, equivalent to a $313 million holding in Citigroup.

Paulson, already a big backer of a banking sector recovery -- and owner of 151 million shares of

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Report

, which was one of Paulson's biggest buys in the third quarter -- increased his existing stake in Citi from 300 million shares to over 500 million shares at the end of 2009.

Citigroup shares were up more than 4% on Tuesday -- though there was a general rally among financials on Tuesday -- and on Wednesday morning, Citigroup was up another 2% early in trading. Bank of America was up 1.5% early on Wednesday,

after leading the banking sector rally on Tuesday with a gain of 4.9%.

While Citigroup shares are much-improved from their March 2009 lows of below $1 per share, Citi shares have been on a declining trend for the past three months. In November, shares of Citi were $1 higher than they were on Wednesday morning, when Citi was trading at $3.38.

Shares of Citi hit a six-month low in December at $3.20 and have remained trading around that range, while Citi's 52-week high is $5.43.

Did the famed hedge fund managers take the short-term depression in Citi shares as a signal to bulk up before the bank heads back to its previous 52-week high levels?

TheStreet

readers typically harbor strong convictions about the fortunes of the U.S. banks, so why not show whether you think you are as savvy, or savvier, than the hedge fund greats when it comes to calling a buy or sell on the likes of Citi? Take our poll below to see the consensus of

TheStreet

, and don't be afraid to leave a comment.

-- Written by Eric Rosenbaum in New York

>>Soros Matches Paulson's Bet on Citi

>>Stockpicker Portfolios: Warren Buffett

>>Stockpickr Portfolios: John Paulson

>>Stockpickr Portfolios: George Soros

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