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ASA Gold and Precious Metals Ltd, NewStar Financial Inc: WS Management, Second Curve Capital Cuts Passive Stakes; Vertex One Asset Management Raises Exposure To Pacific Ethanol Inc (PEIX)

In a couple of new filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, WS Management, the hedge fund managed by Gilchrist Berg, disclosed trimming its passive stake in ASA Gold and Precious Metals Ltd (NYSE:ASA), and Tom Brown’s Second Curve Capital revealed cutting its exposure to NewStar Financial Inc (NASDAQ:NEWS). At the same time, Vertex One Asset Management, led by John Thiessen, in a separate filing, reported upping its position in Pacific Ethanol Inc (NASDAQ:PEIX).

Thomas Brown

WS Management reported ownership of 923,996 shares of ASA Gold and Precious Metals Ltd (NYSE:ASA), representing 4.79% of the company’s common stock. In its latest 13F, the fund disclosed holding 981,796 shares of the company.

Second Curve Capital has reduced its passive stake in NewStar Financial Inc (NASDAQ:NEWS) to 2.92 million shares from 3.96 million shares the fund held previously. The stake amasses %6.1 of common stock.

On the other hand, Vertex One Asset Management has upped its stake in Pacific Ethanol Inc (NASDAQ:PEIX). According to the filing, Vertex One Asset Management holds 1.42 million shares of the company’s, up from 830,380 shares the fund reported in its latest 13F filing. The stake is passive by nature, and represents 5.8% of the company’s common stock.

Gilchrist Berg’s WS Management focuses on the healthcare sector, and is based in Chicago. The fund invests in primarily in fields related to medical and diagnostic products, specialty distribution, outsourced healthcare services, and specialty pharmaceutical products. WS Management’s equity portfolio is valued at $3.1 billion.

ASA Gold and Precious Metals Ltd (NYSE:ASA) is a closed-end precious metals and mining fund, which invests primarily in the securities of companies engaged in the exploration, mining or processing of gold, silver, platinum, diamonds or other precious minerals. The company has a market cap of nearly $229 million. On Thursday, the company’s stock is trading up by 0.25% at $12.05. During last one year, share price of the company dropped by 8.28%.

Among the largest shareholders of ASA Gold and Precious Metals Ltd (NYSE:ASA) is Royce & Associates, led by Chuck Royce, which, in its latest 13F, reported owning 1.06 million shares of the company.

Second Curve, which was founded by Thomas Brown, is a hedge fund that invests in financial stocks. Mr. Brown is a man with a plan. When picking a stock, he focuses on a couple different things, including price-to-earnings growth rate. Mr. Brown prefers stocks with a price-to-earnings growth rate under 1.0. He also looks for stocks trading at a discount of at least 30%. Brown tends to buy companies that have had credit problems, or suffered higher than expected losses, and are starting to recover.

NewStar Financial Inc (NASDAQ:NEWS) is a specialized commercial finance company, with a market cap of $547 million.

Aside from Second Curve, Corsair Capital LLC, managed by D.t. Ignacio Jayanti, reported owning 9.54 million shares of NewStar Financial Inc (NASDAQ:NEWS) as of the end of September 2014. William Black’s Consector Capital reported holding 1.19 million shares of the company in its latest 13F.

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