Sunday 14 Jul 2024
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BEIJING/NEW YORK (June 17): Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway has again trimmed its stake in BYD, the Chinese company that last year surpassed Tesla as the world's largest electric vehicle maker.

Berkshire sold 1.3 million Hong Kong-listed BYD shares for HK$310.5 million (US$39.8 million or RM187.55 million), according to a filing on Monday with the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong.

The sale reduced Berkshire's stake in BYD's issued H-shares to 6.90% from 7.02%.

Berkshire began investing in Shenzhen-based BYD in 2008, paying US$230 million for about 225 million shares, then equal to a 10% stake.

It began selling shares in 2022, by which time BYD's share price had risen more than 20-fold. The share price has fallen about 30% since peaking in June 2022.

Berkshire's investment in BYD investment was the brainchild of Charlie Munger, Berkshire's late vice-chairman.

Munger said in the 2023 annual meeting of publishing and software company Daily Journal that he had "never helped do anything at Berkshire that was as good as BYD".

Though Berkshire also invests in Japan's five largest trading houses, Buffett said in its annual meeting in May that his Omaha, Nebraska-based conglomerate will keep investing mainly in the US. BYD was an exception.

"Charlie twice has pounded the table with me and just said, you know, 'Buy, buy, buy,'" Buffett told shareholders. "BYD was one of them, and Costco was the other...he was right, big time, in both companies."

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