Warren Buffet Places Bets on Japan Trading Companies

“The Land of the Rising Sun” has caught value investing guru Warren Buffett’s eye. In particular, the Berkshire Hathaway CEO is placing bets on the big five Japanese trading companies, which could put Japan-focused exchange-traded funds (ETFs) on watch.

“The chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway announced Sunday — his 90th birthday — that his company has acquired a slightly more than 5% stake in each of the five leading Japanese trading companies. The companies are Itochu Corp., Marubeni Corp., Mitsubishi Corp., Mitsui & Co., and Sumitomo Corp,” a CNBC article wrote. “Berkshire said it acquired the holdings over a roughly 12-month period through regular purchases on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. Based on Friday’s closing prices for the trading houses, a 5% stake in each would be valued at roughly $6.25 billion.”

Buffett, for the most part, has been quiet during the height of the pandemic sell-offs, but now as more economies look to re-open, his investing activity is starting to ramp up. Earlier, Buffett purchased a stake in Barrick Gold as prices of the precious metal have been rallying as of late amid the Covid-19 uncertainty.

Now, Buffett turns his attention to Japan.

“The Japanese trading companies — known as sogo shosha — are conglomerates that import everything from energy and metals to food and textiles into resource-scarce Japan,” the CNBC article said further. “They also provide services to manufacturers. The trading houses have helped grow the Japanese economy and contributed to the globalization of its business.”

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