(Reuters) – Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRKa.N) said it has bought more than $4.1 billion in shares in Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing (2330.TW), a rare, significant move in the technology sector by billionaire Warren Buffett’s conglomerate.
The news sent shares in TSMC higher, closing 7.9% higher in Taiwan on Tuesday, boosting investor sentiment toward the world’s largest chipmaker, which saw its shares plunge to a two-year low last month due to a sharp slowdown in global demand for chips. . .
In a regulatory filing released Monday describing its investments in US-listed stocks as of Sept. 30, Berkshire said it owns about 60.1 million US depositary shares of TSMC.
Other foreign investors in TSMC include US asset managers BlackRock Inc (BLK.N) and Vanguard Group Inc, and Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC (GIC.UL).
Berkshire also disclosed $297 million in new stakes in building materials company Louisiana-Pacific Corp (LPX.N) and $13 million in Jefferies Financial Group Inc (JEF.N). It exited an investment in Store Capital Corp (STOR.N), a real estate company that agreed in September to take private.
The filing did not specify whether Buffett or his portfolio managers Todd Combs and Ted Wechsler made specific purchases and sales. Investors often try to win back what Berkshire buys. The biggest investments are usually Buffett’s.
While Berkshire doesn’t usually make big tech bets, it often favors companies it sees as having competitive advantages, often through their size.
TSMC, which makes chips for the likes of Apple Inc (AAPL.O), Qulacomm (QCOM.O) and Nvidia Corp (NVDA.O), posted an 80% jump in quarterly profit last month, but posted a more cautious note than usual on demand. Next.
“I think Berkshire has a belief that the world can’t do without products made by Taiwan Semi,” said Tom Russo, a partner at Gardner, Russo & Quinn in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, who owns shares in Berkshire.
He added, “There are only a few companies that can muster the capital to offer semiconductors, which are becoming increasingly central to people’s lives.”
Berkshire has had mixed success in the technology space.
Its more than six-year bet over the past decade in IBM Corp. (IBM.N) has not been successful, but Berkshire is sitting on huge unrealized gains from its $126.5 billion stake in Apple, which Buffett views as a consumer products company.
Apple is by far the largest investment in Berkshire’s stock portfolio at $306.2 billion.
Berkshire disclosed TSMC’s stake nearly two-and-a-half months after it began reducing a ten-year-old stake in BYD Co (002594.SZ), China’s largest electric car maker.
In the third quarter, Berkshire added to its stakes in Chevron Corp (CVX.N), Occidental Petroleum Corp (OXY.N), Celanese Corp (CE.N), Paramount Global (PARA.O) and RH (RH.N).
It also sold shares of Activision Blizzard Inc (ATVI.O), Bank of New York Mellon Corp (BK.N), General Motors Co (GM.N), Kroger Co (KR.N), and US Bancorp (USB.N). .
Buffett, 92, has run Berkshire since 1965. The Omaha, Nebraska company also owns dozens of companies such as BNSF Railroad, Geico auto insurance, several energy and industry companies, and Fruit of the Loom and Dairy Queen.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel) in New York. Editing by Bradley Perrett and Stephen Coates
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