Buffett’s Berkshire Reveals Big Stake in Taiwan Semi


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November 14 (Reuters) –

Berkshire Hathaway Inc said it purchased more than $4.1 billion worth of shares in Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co, a rare significant foray into the tech sector by billionaire Warren Buffett’s conglomerate.

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In a Monday regulatory filing outlining its U.S.-listed equity investments as of Sept. 30, Berkshire said it owned about 60.1 million U.S. depository shares of the world’s largest contract chipmaker.

Berkshire also disclosed new stakes of $297 million in building materials company Louisiana-Pacific Corp and $13 million in Jefferies Financial Group Inc. It disposed of an investment in Store Capital Corp, a real estate company that has agreed in September to become private.

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The filing does not specify whether Buffett or his portfolio managers Todd Combs and Ted Westchler made specific purchases and sales. Investors often try to piggyback on what Berkshire buys. Larger investments are normally Buffett’s.

Although Berkshire doesn’t normally make big tech bets, it often prefers companies it perceives to have competitive advantages, often due to their size.

Taiwan Semi

posted an 80% jump

in third-quarter earnings, helped by demand from clients such as iPhone maker Apple Inc, by far the largest investment in Berkshire’s $306.2 billion equity portfolio.

« I suspect Berkshire believes the world can’t live without products made by Taiwan Semi, » said Tom Russo, a partner at Gardner, Russo & Quinn in Lancaster, Pa., which owns Berkshire stock.

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« Only a small number of companies can raise the capital to provide semiconductors, which are increasingly central to people’s lives, » he added.

Berkshire has had mixed success in technology.

His bet of more than six years over the past decade in IBM Corp has failed, but Berkshire is sitting on huge unrealized gains on its $126.5 billion stake in Apple, which Buffett considers more as a consumer products company.

Berkshire disclosed Taiwan Semi’s involvement about 2.5 months after it started


a decade-old, multi-billion dollar stake in BYD Co, China’s largest electric car company.

In the third quarter, Berkshire increased its holdings in Chevron Corp, Occidental Petroleum Corp, Celanese Corp, Paramount Global and RH.

He also sold shares of Activision Blizzard Inc, Bank of New York Mellon Corp, General Motors Co, Kroger Co and US Bancorp.

Buffett, 92, has run Berkshire since 1965. The Omaha, Nebraska-based company also owns dozens of businesses including railroad BNSF, auto insurer Geico, several energy and industrial companies, Fruit of the Loom and Dairy Queen. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Leslie Adler and David Gregorio)



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