Billionaire investor Warren Buffett told CNBC on Monday there were a number of European stocks he liked and singled out British supermarket group Tesco, in which he already has a stake, as a buying opportunity if it came down in price.
Asked whether he saw attractive valuations for a long-term investor in Europe, Buffett said: “Not in the debt space but certainly in the equity space."
“When I left Omaha I left an order to buy one European stock which we will undoubtedly be buying today and we’ll probably be buying it tomorrow and the next day and next week and next month,” Buffett, whose holding company Berkshire Hathaway in headquartered in Omaha in the United States, said.
“I can think of a dozen European stocks that are quite attractive. Whether they’re more attractive than something else I can find in the United States depends on the prices on any given day or given week but there are European stocks I like,” Buffett said.
“There are some wonderful businesses in Europe, and the prices have come down on some of them,” he said. "Debt generally doesn’t interest me very much…I do not like currency-based investments under most circumstances. I’d much rather own equities.”
Earlier this year Buffett bought shares in Tesco, the world's third-largest retailer.
"If the price came down some on Tesco I’d buy some more of that,” Buffett said.
Tesco shares were down 0.6 percent while the FTSE 100 fell 1.7 percent in early trade on Monday.
Buffett said his criteria for investing in European companies were the same as they were in the United States.
"I don’t worry about whether they have emerging market exposure, Buffett said, adding: "I’ve used the same criteria for 60 years."
“Obviously the prices in Europe make a lot more sense than a year ago,” Buffett said.
European stock markets tumbled to a six-week low early Monday, on recurrent fears that the debt crisis will spread further in the euro zone.
Buffett also said there was a majorflaw in the euro system, and said words alone would not solve the crisis plaguing the region. "The system is not working," he said.