Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway is looking both to the Far East and below the ground in terms of broadening out its multi-billion-dollar value investing-focused portfolio.
The Omaha-based conglomerate on Sunday disclosed that it has bought into five of Japan’s biggest trading companies, bolstering his firm’s bet on a rebound in the commodities sector and some of the biggest Japanese firms that trade them.
In a statement, Berkshire said it has acquired stakes of roughly 5% each in Itochu, Marubeni, Mitsubishi, Mitsui and Sumitomo over the past 12 months. All of the firms publicly trade on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
The investments were valued at more than $6 billion combined after shares of all five companies jumped at least 5% in Tokyo trading on Monday, according to Bloomberg. Japan’s benchmark Topix index rose as much as 1.9% on Monday.
While keeping cautious on deploying its record $146.6 billion in cash holdings, Berkshire has been adding to its commodities exposure, with deals including a $4 billion agreement to purchase most of Dominion Energy’s (D) - Get Report natural gas pipeline and storage assets in July, and more recently a $562 million position in Barrick Gold (GOLD) - Get Report.
The Japanese trading firm additions also mark one of Buffett's largest-ever forays into Asia’s second-largest economy. Most of the Japanese companies targeted by Berkshire are major players in the country’s energy and raw-materials industries.
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