Berkshire Hathaway adds to Japan trading company holdings | Inquirer Business

Berkshire Hathaway adds to Japan trading company holdings

/ 04:18 PM June 19, 2023

Warren Buffett

Berkshire Hathaway chairman Warren Buffett. REUTERS/Scott Morgan/File photo

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway said it added to stakes in Japan’s five biggest trading houses to beyond 8 percent on Monday, a move likely to highlight and add to the momentum driving Japan’s stock market to new heights.

Berkshire announced stakes in Itochu, Marubeni, Mitsubishi Corp, Mitsui & Co and Sumitomo in 2020 and adding in line with plans to hold the stakes long term and increase them as far as 9.9 percent.

Itochu logo

The logo of Itochu Corp is seen outside the company’s headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, November 7, 2016. REUTERS/Toru Hanai/File Photo

Buffett’s investments and his optimism about Japan’s prospects have drawn attention to improving economic conditions and shareholder-friendly corporate governance reforms that have helped underpin a sparkling rally in the Nikkei share average.


The market closed 1 percent lower on Friday, and Berkshire’s announcement came after the close, but 10 weeks of consecutive gains have helped the Nikkei rise 28 percent this year.

Mitsui logo

The logo of Japanese trading company Mitsui & Co. is seen in Tokyo, Japan, January 10, 2018. REUTERS/Toru Hanai/File photo

Berkshire said its ownership now averages more than 8.5 percent at the companies and the aggregate value of the investments is the largest of any Berkshire-held public stocks outside the U.S.

Known as “sogo shosha,” Japanese trading houses trade in a variety of materials, products and food, often serving as intermediaries, and provide logistical support.

Marubeni logo

The logo of Marubeni Corp is seen at the company headquarters in Tokyo, Japan. REUTERS/Toru Hanai/File ohoto

The stocks are all up more than 30 percent this year, with Marubeni shares up 62 percent and having more than tripled in price since the end of 2020. Nikkei futures slightly pared some losses after the Berkshire announcement.


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TAGS: Berkshire, companies, Investment, Japan, Warren Buffett

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