Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. took stakes of slightly more than 5% in five of Japan’s most venerable corporate names with big investments in energy.
disclosed the investments in Mitsubishi Corp.
, Mitsui & Co.
, Sumitomo Corp.
, Itochu Corp.
and Marubeni Corp.
just before the Tokyo stock market opened Monday.
Shares in the five companies surged at least 5% and in some cases more than 10%, helping drive the overall Nikkei Stock Average
up 2% in intraday trading Monday. Berkshire didn’t say how much it spent to acquire the stakes. Based on the companies’ Friday closing prices, a 5% stake in each would collectively be worth about $6 billion.
The five are often called trading companies, but investment company might be a more precise description. All have stakes in a variety of businesses including interests in energy and mining. Mitsubishi and Itochu each control a major convenience-store chain in Japan.
“I am delighted to have Berkshire Hathaway participate in the future of Japan and the five companies we have chosen for investment,” said Buffett in a statement. He said the five companies “have many joint ventures throughout the world and are likely to have more of these partnerships.”
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