Hedge funds led by Paulson & Co. and Maverick Capital are piling into mortgage insurers in a bet that some of the companies worst hit by the U.S. housing crash will be among the biggest winners in the rebound.

Maverick, run by Lee Ainslie, added 23.6 million shares of MGIC Investment Corp. in the first quarter as the stock almost doubled, according to regulatory filings. Billionaire John Paulson’s $18 billion hedge-fund firm acquired 17 million shares of MGIC and 8 million of rival Radian Group Inc.

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