BOSTON, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Billionaire investor Daniel Loeb's hedge fund Third Point took a new position in financial powerhouse Morgan Stanley during the fourth quarter, a new filing shows, weeks before the bank was battered in the broad-based stock sell-off this year.
The $17.5 billion hedge fund bought 3 million shares in the bank, according to its latest 13-F filing released on Friday which details the fund's holdings at the end of the fourth quarter. This year, Morgan Stanley's stock has lost 27 percent.
A Third Point spokeswoman declined further comment.
While the filings, made by all large money managers, are backward looking, they are nonetheless watched with great interest for signs of any trends in what hedge fund managers are buying or selling.
Third Point also put on a new position in Axalta Coating Systems, which serves the transportation industry. Its stock has also dropped this year but not as dramatically as Morgan Stanley.
It also raised its stake in Allergan by 47 percent to own 5.4 million shares and upped its stake in Dow Chemical , which is planning to merge with rival DuPont, by 7 percent to 25.2 million shares. (Reporting by Svea Herbst-Bayliss; Editing by Mary Milliken)