— This is the script of CNBC's news report for China's CCTV on August 31, Thursday.
That's right, it was Buffet's 87-year-old birthday on Wednesday, U.S time and on this day he joint CNBC for an exclusive interview where he commented on recent market transactions.
First of all, Buffett looks to be hoarding a lot of cash. He said that according to current valuation, stocks are no longer as cheap as they were in the past. Buffett likened his purchase of stocks after the 2008 financial crisis as catching a fish in the bucket. As the U.S stock market was bullish, buying stocks was too easy. But with the stock market rising over the past few years, good deals are getting increasingly hard to find. This is why Buffet hoards cash.
For him, stocks are still more attractive than bonds. Bank of America was a key point in yesterday's interview. On Tuesday, Berkshire Hathaway became Bank of America's largest shareholder.
Bank of America said Berkshire Hathaway bought the bank's 700 million shares of common stock at $ 7.14 per share, way below market price. Overnight, the shares closed at $ 23.87.
This is because Buffett had previously invested $ 5 billion in Bank of America which included warrants that would allow Buffett to buy those 700 million shares at $ 7.14 any time before 2021. Till today, Berkshire Hathaway has already exercised this option. Counting in dividends of preferred shares from Bank of America, Buffett's investment in this bank is up to $ 13 billion.
[BUFFETT] "We are very happy that we have 700 million shares. And come on, I like the business. I like the evaluation and I like the management very much. So I think you will see that for a long time in our holdings."
Secondly, Buffet also discussed about his views on Apple's stock. We know that since 2016, Buffett had begun buying a large number of Apple shares. In the earliest days, he bought 9.8 million shares. In an interview with CNBC earlier this year, Buffet said that he was still optimistic about Apple, resulting in his position in the company to double.
Overnight, Apple's share price continued to climb, once again, hitting a new record high. As the market remains optimistic about the release of iPhone 8, it resulted in Apple's shares to close at $ 163.35 on Tuesday, an increase of 0.27%.
So far, Buffet said that he has never sold any Apple stock, but did not comment on whether he will continue to buy more.
[BUFFETT] "When they get some new idea that they have to sell something, I have a lot of excess money around so he decided that he wanted to go do something else but I never sold the share and I bought Apple Stock."
[Becky Quick] "Are you continuing to buy?"
[BUFFETT] "Well, I don't think I will tell you that much."
Lastly, Buffett also shared his thoughts on the US economy. Last night, the US Department of Commerce reported the US' Q2 seasonally adjusted GDP. It was at 3%, recording the highest growth rate since the first quarter of 2015. But Buffett questioned this figure.
[BUFFETT] "No, its been about 2% a year for, since the fall of 2009, eight years. And its been remarkably close to that, most of the time. The way they report those quarterly numbers, they take the quarter and (inaudible) the change and multiply by four. It's not year over year so it gets a little tricky that way. If you are off by a tenth, it makes it four tenths in the annual figure they report then with seasonal adjustments and everything, you don't want to take any quarter too seriously. I would guess we are in about 2% growth on the economy now."
The above are the investment points that Warren Buffett has shared with us in the interview.
CNBC's Qian Chen, reporting in Singapore.