BEIJING, February 2 (TMTPOST)— Legendary billionaire investor Warren Buffett continued to unwind its long position in BYD despite ongoing stock rally of the Chinese electric vehicle (EV) giant.
Source: Visual China
Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway sold more than 1.55 million Hong Kong-listed BYD shares at an average price of HK$226.32 (US$25.70) apiece on February 2, trimming its stake in the company from 13.04% to 12.90%, according to a filing with the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (HKEX) Thursday.
This is Berkshire’s eighth offloading made public during the past five months, suggesting it has cashed out a total of more than HK$15 billion through the sales of over 73 million shares, more than a third of its BYD position in last July. In August, the investment company disclosed sales of 1.33 million shares, its first stake reduction since acquiring BYD in September, 2008. It soon dropped more than 1.7 million shares till early September, and unveiled in November three deals, reducing about 12.30 million stakes in BYD.
Following a fall of 28% last year, BYD stocks price rallied more than 30% so far this year, while Berkshire has sold off more than 2.6 million shares in total in the same period. As of Thursday’s disclosure, the firm has cashed in at least $300 million in a month, which could be less than actual amount as it only has to file the sales when a transaction changes its percentage stake by a whole number. The investment in BYD has paid off a lot for Berkshire since it first bought BYD shares at an average of HK$8 per share in 2008, with an investment of $230 million.
BYD Executive Vice President Stella Li played down Berkshire’s sales Last month, when the US conglomerate disclosed its first stock sales this year. According to Li, its “very natural” for Buffett to get some returns. The executive didn’t treat the offloading as any indication that the investor’s abandoning BYD. Instead, Buffett “loves” the company and its management since he will always be its biggest supporter, Li said.