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Berkowitz's Fairholme Sells Citigroup, China Pacific

Dan Freed

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Fairholme Funds, the roughly $9 billion mutual fund manager run by Bruce Berkowitz, unloaded stakes in Citigroup C and China Pacific Insurance in its fiscal first quarter ending Feb. 29, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission Wednesday.
Fairholme's largest investment vehicle, an $8.2 billion mutual fund called The Fairholme Fund FAIRX , owned just over 5.18 million shares of Citigroup worth about $142 million, according to the annual report posted on the fund's website. As of Feb. 29, it owned no Citigroup shares.

Fairholme Funds boss Bruce Berkowitz

The Fairholme Fund also owned nearly 110 million shares of China Pacific Insurance, China third largest life insurer, worth over $300 million at the end of November. It held no shares of the company as of Feb. 29. U.S.-based private equity firm The Carlyle Group, has also been selling down its stake in the Chinese insurer.
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The Fairholme Fund also bought some 642 thousand shares in Orchard Supply Hardware Stores OSH during the first quarter, though it had already disclosed that investment in a Jan. 10 filing with the SEC.
The fund also exited a $50 million stake in a fund called JZ Capital Partners.
The Fairholme Fund made no change to the vast majority of its top holdings during its fiscal first quarter. Those include AIG AIG , Sears Holdings Corp SHLD , Bank of America BAC and CIT GROUP CIT .
The $307 million Fairholme Allocation Fund FAAFX , however, added to holdings of Sears and Leucadia National Corp LUK , while also adding to existing warrants to buy shares of Bank of America, Wells Fargo BAC and JPMorgan Chase JPM .
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Fairholme's Berkowitz, Morningstar Manager of the Decade in 2010, got crushed in 2011 after betting heavily on beaten-down financials. The Fairholme Fund has bounced back strongly in the first quarter, however, literally going from worst to first.
Fairholme's mutual funds represent the vast majority of the assets managed by Fairholme Capital Management, which will likely make its 13F filing of first calendar quarter holdings shortly before the 45-day deadline in mid-May.
A spokesman for Berkowitz declined to comment on firm investments.
-- Written by Dan Freed in New York.
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