China's Warren Buffett: I'm Just His 'Apprentice'
The chairman of China's largest privately-owned conglomerate Fosun Group, also known as the "Warren Buffett of China," says it's more accurate to call him Buffett's "apprentice" as he considers himself a student of the renowned business magnate.
Guo Guangchang, co-founder and chairman of Fosun Group told CNBC that he's learning from Buffet, the CEO of investment firm Berkshire Hathaway, in making investment decisions, along with his value investing philosophy to search out good deals.
"We're learning from his investment methods," Guo said on the sidelines of the China Entrepreneur Club's Annual Summit of Green Companies in Kunming, located in the country's southwestern Yunnan province.
"We hope to build on our own strengths and become Buffett's successful disciples in China," he added.
The Chinese media gave billionaire Guo the title "Warren Buffett of China" after the highly-regarded American investor, as he expanded Fosun into one of China's most diversified conglomerates with investments in property, pharmaceuticals, insurance, retail and tourism to name a few. The group is China's biggest privately-held conglomerate by revenue, which hit $8.4 billion in 2012.
Guo says he does follow Buffett's investment path and has even increased his holdings in the insurance sector in which Berkshire Hathaway has considerable holdings, "hoping to utilize the capital base from the insurance businesses to improve our investment capacity in the future," like Buffet does.
Guo, however, adds that his group has its own strategies as well.
"We indeed have our own specialties, because we are deep-rooted in China," Guo said. "We have in-depth knowledge about Chinese industries. We know what's driving the country's economic growth."
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As member of China's National People's Congress since 2003, Guo has been active in pushing pro-business policies with the government like proposing the setting up of China's version of the Silicon Valley Bank that provides diversified financial services to companies in sectors like technology and life science.
Guo said that his two roles of running a private enterprise and as a member of congress allow him to help establish laws that will help not only Fosun but other companies as well.
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"I think China at this stage is full of challenges," Guo said. "From a business perspective, we are trying to propose some suggestions to the government. Not only to benefit Fosun, but to benefit all private enterprises, especially proposals to help small to medium-sized companies. "
- By CNBC.com's Rajeshni Naidu-Ghelani; Follow her on Twitter @RajeshniNaidu