Billionaire Warren Buffett recently expressed confidence in Chinese investment. [File photo]
Billionaire investor Warren Buffett said he had confidence in Chinese investment at an annual shareholders meeting for his company Berkshire Hathaway in Omaha, China Business News reported.
Thousands of investors, celebrities, journalists, as well as Buffett's adorers attended the meeting. The attendees traveled from around the world to make the annual pilgrimage to hear from the man who successfully weathered the stock market over a nearly 50-year career.
Buffett and Charlie Munger, his 88-year-old business partner, received questions from shareholders about investment strategies and the state of the economy.
Buffett told reporters in the Q&A session that it was wise for him to invest into Chinese stocks of China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) and automobile company BYD, and he said he was optimistic about the outlook of Chinese stocks.
"We didn't look at Chinese stocks that much, because we usually pay attention to those that have huge scale of capitals and assets," Buffett said. "CNPC case was very successful, and we bought BYD's shares years ago – the investment hasn't finished."
Buffett revealed he made US$3.5 billion from CNPC stocks and was looking to find a new company with similar circumstances.
Buffett said no matter whether this company was Chinese, American or affiliated with any other countries, his process to select the target would remain the same: "First we have to know about the company, understand where the advantages are at. We hope the company has long-term competition power and the executives are honest, credible and stable. Under these conditions, we then choose those which have good stock prices for us."
Buffett said he had no plan to buy high-tech stocks. Although he and his partner have invested US$13 billion into IBM, he considered it highly risky to invest in other hi-tech companies.
"I felt that I could not predict the future of many other hi-tech companies," Buffett said. "But I can decide for IBM."
The investor said he read Benjamin Graham's book "The Intelligent Investor" at age 19, and since then he held the investment philosophy illustrated in the chapters eight and 20 as his lifelong principle. Buffett said he recommended the book to Chinese investors.
Buffett, who was diagnosed with prostate cancer last month, said it was not important who would be the successor, but who could inherit and uphold company's valuable investing traditions. Rumors said he had already chosen his successor, but that he had not announced his decision to anyone, including the successor himself.
Buffett said that the rumor was not entirely correct: "Not exactly. I chose the investing successor, but not the company administration successor."
Buffett also said he did not have intention in politics or have initiated campaigns for congressional or presidential candidates.
"My father worked in the [U.S.] Congress. I was interested in the politics, but I never thought I would be a politician."
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