Prem Watsa Buys Steel Partners, Cuts BlackBerry Ltd

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Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd (TSE:FFH), the insurance holding company headed by Prem Watsa, disclosed that its equity portfolio had a market value of more than $1.425 billion at the end of the first quarter of  fiscal 2014, based on its 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Watsa’s regulatory filing showed that he initiated new positions in three companies, increased his stake in three stocks, and reduced his stock holdings in three other equities.

Watsa New acquisitions

During the quarter, Watsa acquired 30,000 shares of Steel Partners Holdings LP (NYSE:SPLP), a global diversified holding company. It owns and operates business in different industries, including banking, energy, entertainment and lifestyle, defense, insurance, food products and services, oilfield services, etc.  His stake in Steel Partners has a market value of around $509,000.

Watsa purchased 24,500 shares of Morgan Stanley Asia Pacific Fund Inc. (NYSE:APF), worth $413,000, and 100,000 shares of Harvest Natural Resources, Inc. (NYSE:HNR), with a market value of $375,000.

Morgan Stanley Asia Pacific Fund Inc. (NYSE:APF) is a diversified, closed-end management  investment company focused on long-term capital appreciation by investing primarily in securities of companies and debt securities issued or guaranteed by governments or governmental entities in the Asia-Pacific region. The stock price of the fund closed at $16.28 per share in New York on Wednesday.

Harvest Natural Resources, Inc. (NYSE:HNR) is a petroleum exploration and production company. Zacks Equity Research recently upgraded its rating for the stock from Underperform to Neutral with a price target of $4.80 per share. The stock price of Harvest Natural closed at $4.65 per share, down by more than 1% on Wednesday.

Watsa Increased positions

Watsa increased his stake in EXCO Resources Inc (NYSE:XCO) by 6,726,712 shares to 17,538,912 shares worth about $98.1 million. The stock is the fourth largest position in his portfolio. Watsa showed that he is very bullish on the stock, given the significant amount of shares he bought during the quarter.

The stock price of EXCO Resources Inc (NYSE:XCO) was down 2% to $5.29 per share on Wednesday. The number of investors shorting the stock fell by 12.9% last month, according to American Banking News.

Watsa also boosted his stake in BP plc (ADR) (NYSE:BP) by 4,000 shares to 11,000 shares worth $529,000, and he acquired an additional 3,400 Class B shares of Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.B), bringing his total to 24,500 shares worth about $3 million.

Watsa Reduced positions

During the period, Watsa sold 5.2 million shares of BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TSE:BB). He still owns 46,654,700 shares of the Canadian smartphone manufacturer, which are worth more than $376.59 million. BlackBerry is his second largest stock holding and accounts for 26% of his portfolio.

Watsa also sold 2,000 shares of Patterson-UTI Energy, Inc. (NASDAQ:PTEN) and 6,1000 shares of Cooper Tire & Rubber Co (NYSE:CTB).

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