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Warren Buffett ups stake in top reinsurer Munich Re


The world’s top reinsurer, Munich Re, has announced today that U.S. billionaire investor Warren Buffett has increased his financial stake in the intermediary.

Buffett now owns 3.045-percent of Munich Re, up from just under 3-percent near the end of 2009. Munich Re is currently valued at $30.5-billion.

It is highly unlikely Buffett has any plans at gaining majority because his current firm, Berkshire Hathaway, is already significantly exposed to risk from the sector from its own reinsurance businesses.

Mr. Buffett firstly invested in Munich Re back in 2008.

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Warren Buffett to up stake in BYD Chinese electric carmaker


The most successful investor in the world, Warren Buffett, has announced his investment firm, MidAmerican (part of Berkshire Hathaway), would increase its financial stake in the Chinese automobile battery producer turned carmaker BYD Corp, sending the stock rallying up today.

BYD Chairman Wang Chuanfu said today, “MidAmerican has always intended to raise its stake in BYD because it believes BYD has good prospects in the development of renewable energy,”

The exact stake increase is currently unclear.

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Berkshire Hathaway Reports Biggest Loss Ever, Only Second Loss in its History


Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway has just reported the worst earnings in its entire 44-year history [2008 Annual Report PDF]. In 2008, the net worth of the company declined by $11.5 billion, taking its per-share book value down by 9.6% (includes unrealized gains and losses) It is only the second ever reported loss by Berkshire, the last being in 2001 when its value fell by 6.2%

Excluding unrealized gains and losses, Berkshire Hathaway reported $3,224 per share in profits for 2008, compared to $8,548 in 2007.

Founder Warren Buffett said the dumbest investment mistake made was buying a significant stake in Conoco Philips when oil prices were at their peak. He also said no one really could have anticipated the oil price landslide. Berkshire’s total loss so far is $2.6 billion from the Conoco investment.

In 2008, Berkshire’s A stock is now trading per share at about $78,600 from last Friday’s close, compared to $151,000 in 2007.

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Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Takes on $250M Tiffany & Co Debt


Billionaire investor Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway has just purchased $125 million of eight-year bond notes and an additional $125 million in ten-year bond notes from luxury jewelry maker Tiffany & CO., meaning Berkshire Hathaway has effectively taken on $250 million of debt from the company. Both bonds are structured to yield Berkshire 10% According to Merrill Lynch, the average U.S. bond yielded 7.37% in 2008/ Tiffany & Co. says the new proceeds will be used to fund continuing operations and to refinance current debt.

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Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Earnings Drop 77% in Q3


Warren Buffett’s company, Berkshire Hathaway, has announced a staggering 77% drop in Q3 earnings to $1.06 billion, as a result to a $1.05 billion investment loss, and declining insurance profits because of the financial crisis. The value of the company declined so much because Berkshire Hathaway’s derivative positions including options and futures, which are tied to the overall markets, declined the most. I think it will get worse before it gets better, and Warran Buffett also thinks the financial crisis will get better, too. That is why Warren Buffett says his company will not sell their derivative positions and he believes they will eventually become profitable, which will take years from now. The results do not take into account the $5 billion investment in Goldman Sachs and a $3 billion stake in General Electric. Aggregately, Berkshire’s net-worth is now at $120.15 billion, down from $120.73 billion YoY.

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