Buffett Watch

Warren Buffett Sold Entire PetroChina Stake Due to Price Rise; Darfur Not a Factor


Warren Buffett has finished his live interview with Fox Business News this afternoon. 

The biggest headline is Buffett saying he has sold his entire PetroChina stake and he sold it not because of human-rights concerns over Darfur, but because the stock's price had gone up so much.  (The most recent public filing from Berkshire had the PetroChina stake at 3.1 percent, but WBW speculated at the time that he had probably sold his entire stake given the pace of sales.)

"It was 100 percent a decision based on valuation," he says.  He also admits that he sold too soon, given the fact that the stock has continued to rise to all-time highs in recent weeks, even as he was selling.  (Looks like Mark Mobius wins this round.)


Still, don't cry for him.  He says he sold at a profit of about $3.5 billion on a $500 million investment.

Buffett also definitevely knocked down speculation that emerged a few weeks back that he might be interested in buying a stake in Bear Stearns.  We highlighted all the skepticism about that Bear Stearns report late last month, although the stock did rise at the time.

And he revealed that Berkshire Hathaway is buying the Brazilian real, which has been gaining against the U.S. dollar.  "It's quite unlikely that if you had told me 10 years ago that I would buy the Brazilian real, I would have throught you were crazy."

Among the surprised, RBS Greenwich Capital's Alan Ruskin, quoted by Reuters as writing in a research note, "The surprise is that Buffett made one concentrated large currency bet in an emerging market that may not always be able to cope with his scale on one of those notorious days when the exit door gets clogged."

Questions?  Comments?  Email me at buffettwatch@cnbc.com

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