Warren Buffett’s Berkshire buys 5% each in Japan’s 5 biggest “Sogo Shosha”
Warren Buffett directed Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-A) (NYSE: BRK-B) announced Sunday night that it has bought passive stakes in five of Japan’s largest trading companies.
What happened: The trading companies, called “Sogo Shosha” in Japan, include Itochu Company (OTC: ITOCY), Marubéni Company (OTC: MARUY), Mitsubishi corporation (OTC: MSBHY), Mitsui & Co. Ltd. (OTC: MITSY), and Sumitomo Corp. (OTC: SSUMF).
Berkshire said it has acquired a 5% stake in each of the five companies. The Omaha-based company has pledged that while it intends to hold these investments for the long term, it will not hold a greater than 9.99% stake in Sogo Shosha at any time.
“The top five trading companies have many joint ventures around the world and are likely to have more of these partnerships,” Buffett said in a statement.
“I hope that in the future there can be opportunities for mutual benefit.”
Why is this important: According to data compiled by Bloomberg, the investments, made through the subsidiary National Indemnity, are worth more than $ 6 billion.
It also marks a rare alienation from US companies for Buffett, who noted that “never bet against America,” as analyst Quoth the Raven noted earlier.
Buffett turned 90 on Sunday and counts Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) as some of its biggest holdings.
Price action: Berkshire’s Class A shares closed up 0.5% at $ 327,431 on Friday, and Class B shares closed up 0.77% at $ 218.55.
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