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.

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