Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate helmed by Warren Buffett, has increased its stakes in the 5 biggest trading houses in Japan to over 6%, in a regulatory filing on November 21st, reports an article in Reuters. In 2020, Berkshire stated on record that it was taking the long view with its investments in the Japanese trading houses, and that its positions there could rise to nearly 10% over the long term.
At Mitsubishi, Berkshire raised its position from 5.04% to 6.59%, while at Mitsui & Co Ltd it increased from 5.03% to 6.62%. At Itochu Corp, it increased its stake from 5.02% to 6.21%, and from 5.06% to 6.75% at Marubeni Corp. Meanwhile, at Sumitomo Corp, Berkshire raised their stake from 5.04% to 6.57%, according to the article. Stock prices at the trading houses got a boost in the wake of the news, with Mitsubishi and Marubeni up roughly 2%. That’s on top of the double-digit percentages that shares at the houses have risen since the beginning of 2022. Given the strong earnings and solid shareholder returns at the 5 trading houses, it’s not surprising that Berkshire would increase its stakes, Takashi Hiroki of Monex told Reuters. The move also comes on the heels of Berkshires increased investment in Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC, where it bought over $4.1 billion worth of stock earlier in November.
According to Japanese regulatory rules, investors who own more than 5% of a listed company and then raises or lowers their stake by 1 percentage point must disclose the move within 5 business days, the article details.