(Adds details on stock picks)
By Svea Herbst-Bayliss
BOSTON Nov 15 Billionaire hedge fund manager John Paulson cut his third and fourth biggest portfolio holdings and made a bigger bet on a gold mining firm, according to a regulatory filing released on Thursday.
New York-based hedge fund Paulson & Co cut Delphi Automotive Plc to 25 million shares from 32 million shares and reduced Hartford Financial Services Group Inc to 19 million shares from 31 million shares.
Earlier in the year, Paulson pressured Hartford to take dramatic steps to boost the share price, which has risen 25 percent this year.
Paulson, who has long backed gold stocks, also cut his stake in Gold Fields Ltd, to 6.5 million. This year, Gold Fields' share price has tumbled 22 percent, contributing to the losses in his biggest funds.
Paulson's filing was made at 6:44 pm on Wednesday and was accepted by the Securities and Exchange Commission's system on Nov. 14, the deadline for filing these reports. But because many managers made their filings at the last minute, the system was heavily taxed, which meant Paulson's filing became available for public viewing only on Nov. 15, two people familiar with the situation said.
Fund managers are required to file 13F reports detailing quarterly holdings within 45 days of the end of a quarter, with the deadline for filing at 5:30 p.m. EST (2230 GMT) on Wednesday.
Paulson, whose rising and tumbling returns have captured investors' attentions over the last year, also made adjustments to his financial stock holdings - which hurt him badly in 2011.
During the third quarter, he cut by half his stake in Capital One Financial Corp and no longer listed JP Morgan Chase & Co as a holding. He did buy more Bank of America Corp warrants.
After making billions on bets against the housing market and on gold in 2007 and in 2010, Paulson appears now to be in a prolonged slump with his biggest portfolios, the Advantage and Advantage Plus funds, reporting losses again after heavy losses in 2011.
Paulson also reported that the he upped his stake in Life Technologies Corp by 8.5 million shares to 13.5 million shares, making the company his fourth biggest holding after the SPDR Gold Trust, AngloGold Ashanti Holding Plc and Delphi Automotive. (Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Andre Grenon)