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Buffett Reveals Big Investments, Rails Against Wall St Excess at Berkshire Meeting

Minggu, 01 Mei 2022 | 13:02 WIB
Buffett Reveals Big Investments, Rails Against Wall St Excess at Berkshire Meeting

ILUSTRASI. Warren Buffett berpidato di hadapan para pemegang saham pada pertemuan tahunan Berkshire Hathaway Inc, yang disiarkan hampir karena pandemi penyakit coronavirus (COVID-19), di Omaha, Nebraska 2 Mei 2020.

Sumber: Reuters | Editor: Thomas Hadiwinata

KONTAN.CO.ID - OMAHA, April 30 (Reuters) - Warren Buffett on Saturday used the annual meeting of Berkshire Hathaway Inc BRKa.N to reveal major new investments including a bigger stake in Activision Blizzard Inc, while also railing against Wall Street excess and addressing the risks to his conglomerate of inflation and nuclear war.

The meeting in downtown Omaha, Nebraska was Berkshire's first welcoming shareholders since 2019, before COVID-19 derailed America's largest corporate gathering for two years.

It allowed shareholders to ask five hours of questions directly to Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger, and some questions to Vice Chairmen Greg Abel, who would become chief executive if Buffett could not serve, and Ajit Jain.

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Buffett said Berkshire, long faulted for holding too much cash, boosted its combined stakes in oil company Chevron Corp and "Call of Duty" game maker Activision Blizzard Inc nearly six-fold to more than $31 billion.

Berkshire also said first-quarter operating profit was little changed at $7.04 billion, as many of its dozens of businesses withstood supply chain disruptions caused by COVID-19 variants, the Ukraine invasion and rising costs from inflation. Read full storyRead full story

Buffett, 91, said it "really feels good" to address shareholders in person, after holding the last two meetings without them. Attendees included JPMorgan Chase & Co Chief Executive Jamie Dimon and the actor Bill Murray.

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Buffett had in his annual shareholder letter in February bemoaned the lack of investment opportunities.

That prompted a shareholder to ask what changed in March, when Berkshire bought 14.6% of Occidental Petroleum Corp and agreed to buy insurer Alleghany Corp for $11.6 billion.

Buffett said it was simple: he turned to Occidental after reading an analyst report, and to Alleghany after its chief executive, who once led Berkshire's General Re business, wrote to him.

"Markets do crazy things, and occasionally Berkshire gets a chance to do something," he said. "It's not because we're smart.... I think we're sane."

Berkshire spent $51 billion on equities in the quarter, and its cash stake sank more than $40 billion to $106 billion.

But the conglomerate has many cash-generating resources, including its insurance operations, and Buffett assured that reserves won't run dry.

"We will always have a lot of cash," he said. "It's like oxygen, it's there all the time but if it disappears for a few minutes, it's all over."

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