Hedge fund manager John Paulson, who earned a fortune by betting against financial companies after foreseeing the credit crisis, stocked up on shares of Bank of America Corp and other lenders during the second quarter, according to a regulatory filing.

Paulson & Co, which has vaulted to the top ranks of hedge fund managers after two standout years, disclosed on Wednesday that it held 168 million Bank of America shares worth $2.22 billion as of June 30.

The New York fund manager did not report any BofA stake at the end of March.

Paulson's investment moves are closely watched by investors after he predicted the implosion of mortgage prices in 2007 and then the collapse of banks in 2008.

During the first quarter, his aggressive moves into shares of gold miners and the SPDR Gold Trust exchange traded fund were interpreted as reflecting worries about rising inflation.

Now recent public disclosures indicate Paulson expects banks and other financial companies to rebound.

He joined a group of investors earlier this year in acquiring the failed lender IndyMac Bancorp.

Paulson also reported on Wednesday new holdings in a number of national and regional banks, including 35 million shares of Regions Financial Corp , 2 million shares of Goldman Sachs Group Inc , 1.5 million shares of State Street Corp and 5 million shares of Fifth Third Bancorp shares.

Paulson & Co also reported increased stakes in gold miners AngloGold Ashanti and Gold Fields Ltd

The firm also sharply increased its stake in drugmaker Schering Plough Corp to 55.1 million shares on June 30 from 9 million at the end of March.

(Reporting by Joseph A. Giannone; Editing by Ted Kerr)