April 30, 2008 / 8:30 PM / 10 years ago

Big Fidelity stock funds buy Samsung in March

BOSTON, April 30 (Reuters) - Fidelity Investments’ two largest U.S. stock funds bet big on a foreign name -- Samsung Electronics (005930.KS) of South Korea -- in March, data from the world’s biggest mutual fund company showed on Wednesday.

But while sharing similar views on Samsung -- the world’s top maker of large liquid crystal display screens and the No. 2 mobile phone manufacturer -- the two Fidelity funds differed in their views on the U.S. financial sector, the data showed.

Fidelity’s biggest stock fund, the $71.5 billion Contrafund, and its best-known Magellan fund raised their ownership of Samsung by about 62 percent each in March, according to data posted on Fidelity’s Web site.

Privately owned Fidelity, which manages about $1.5 trillion in assets, usually doesn’t publicly explain its portfolio changes but its moves are watched closely by investors. A spokesman declined to comment on reasons for the changes.

Contrafund, a multi-cap growth fund managed by Will Danoff, raised its ownership of Samsung to $157.4 million at the end of March from $97.3 million at end-February, the data show.

The $38.4 billion Magellan, a large-cap growth fund run by Harry Lange, hiked its holdings of Samsung over the month to $481.4 million from $298.2 million. It had bought a new stake in Samsung in January worth $315.2 million at the end of that month.

Shares of Samsung rose 11.3 percent in March. The firm beat forecasts with a 37 percent rise in quarterly profit last week.

    Both Contrafund and Magellan are domestic stock funds but are allowed to have exposure to foreign companies. They had 26.5 percent of their portfolios in foreign holdings as of end-March, according to the company Web site.

    Magellan showed new holdings worth $408 million and $190 million in banking firms JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) and Bank of America (BAC.N), respectively, at the end of March, raising its financial sector exposure to 10.2 percent of its total portfolio from 8.3 percent at end-February.

    But Contrafund’s exposure to the financial sector fell to 11.2 percent from 12.1 percent over the same period, the data showed. Its holdings of JPMorgan rose 5.2 percent to $268.2 million at the end of March, a shade lower than the 5.7 percent increase in the stock for the month.

    Editing by Richard Chang

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