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Eric Mindich, Like John Paulson, Makes Gold ETF His Fund’s Biggest Holding

Eric Mindich, Like John Paulson, Makes Gold ETF His Fund’s Biggest Holding

Eric Mindich, the former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. partner who runs $13 billion hedge fund Eton Park Capital Management LP, followedJohn Paulson in making gold his biggest reported investment.
Eton Park bought 6.58 million shares of SPDR Gold Shares, an exchange-traded fund that tracks the price of bullion, in the second quarter, according to a filing today with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The investment was valued at $800.3 million as of June 30, making it the hedge fund’s biggest holding.
Paulson, who oversees $31 billion at New York-based hedge- fund firm Paulson & Co., was the largest holder of the fund, with 31.5 million shares valued at $3.43 billion as of March 31, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Hedge-fund managers such as George Soros and David Einhorn have been investing in bullion and stocks of gold miners amid the threat of inflation from higher government spending. Gold futures rose more than 12 percent this year to reach a record $1,266.50 an ounce on June 21.
Brendan McManus, a spokesman for New York-based Eton Park, declined to comment. Mindich, who was co-head of equities at New York-based Goldman, started his hedge fund in 2004 with $3.5 billion.
The firm also bought shares of Fidelity National Information Services Inc. and Apple Inc. in the second quarter.
Buying Morgan Stanley
Eton Park left unchanged its stake in Viacom Inc., its second-largest holding, at 13.5 million shares. New York-based Viacom is the owner of MTV Networks and Paramount Pictures.
Mindich’s fund increased its stake in Morgan Stanley during the second quarter by 10 million shares, bringing its holding to 15 million shares valued at $348.2 million at the end of June. The hedge fund also added to its holdings in Bank of America Corp. by buying 1.1 million shares in the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank, taking its stake to 21.1 million shares worth $303.3 million.
Eton Park cut its stake in Citigroup Inc. by 15 million shares, leaving the hedge fund with 60.5 million shares, according to the filing.
Financial companies were Eton Park’s biggest investments in the quarter, accounting for 25 percent of the $7.7 billion in reported holdings.
The SEC requires money managers who oversee more than $100 million in U.S. equities to report their holdings on a Form 13F within 45 days of the end of each quarter. The filing must include all holdings in stocks that trade on U.S. exchanges, as well as options and convertible debt.
To contact the reporter on this story: Saijel Kishan in New York at skishan@bloomberg.net;

See also article from Marketwatch via The MasterFeeds

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Eton Park discloses big gold ETF stake Hedge Funds – MarketWatch

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Eton Park Capital Management LP, a hedge fund run by former Goldman Sachs trader Eric Mindich, disclosed a big new stake in a gold exchange-traded fund during the second quarter, according to a regulatory filing Monday.
Mindich joins other hedge fund managers, such as John Paulson of Paulson & Co., who have taken big gold positions in recent years. See MarketWatch special report on the new gold bugs.
Eton Park held almost 6.6 million shares of the SPDR Gold Trust ETF(GLD 119.79, +0.06, +0.05%) at the end of June. The firm also held 5 million calls and 4 million puts on the gold ETF, according to Monday’s regulatory filing. (Calls give investors the right to buy securities, while puts give them the right to sell).
At the end of March, Eton Park disclosed no stakes in the SPDR Gold Trust.
Paulson & Co., one of the world’s largest hedge funds, disclosed Monday that it held a stake of 31.5 million shares of the gold trust at the end of June. That was unchanged from the end of March. Paulson is the biggest investor in the gold trust, according to FactSet.

Alistair Barr is a reporter for MarketWatch in San Francisco.