Buffett Watch

Warren Buffett Plans South Korea Visit

Warren Buffett will be visiting South Korea later this month, according to a brief report carried on the web site of the leading Korean newspaper The Chosun Ilbo.

The story says it will be Buffett's first visit to the country.  He "will reportedly visit Korea on October 25th after a trip to China where he will attend a factory launch."  Also on the itinerary: a tour of a Berkshire subsidiary in the city of Daegu, a news conference, and lunch with "Korean business leaders."

Buffett has shown increased interest in Korea over the past few years, attracting the attention of some analysts.  Earlier this year, we learned that Berkshire had acquired a 4% stake in the Korean steel company Posco. That stock is up 175% over the last 12 months in New York trading.

In a fascinating page one story about an "unplugged" visit in late 2005 to Buffett's Omaha office, the Wall Street Journal quotes Buffett as saying he had begun buying some Korean stocks for his personal brokerage account, because they were too small for Berkshire:

"He picked the stocks, which he declines to name, by leafing through a reference book compiled in Korea and provided by Citigroup to some clients. The book devotes a single page to each listed company. 'You look for solid-looking companies at very low multiples of earnings, and sometimes with the added bonus of lots of excess cash,' he said. After the shares rose in price, he unloaded some of them, though he still calls them cheap."

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