Warren Buffett's PetroChina Stake Slashed to 3.1%


The PetroChina selling continues and continues to accelerate at Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway.

In a filing with the SEC made public just moments ago, Berkshire reveals that as of September 30 its controversial stake in the Chinese energy company had dropped to just 3.1%. That follows a flurry of selling in September that brought the holdings from from just under 10% when the month started.

All this month we've been following the declines in Berkshire's PetroChina stake through filings with the Hong Kong stock exchange. Today's U.S. filing was required because Berkshire is no longer a 5% owner of PetroChina.

Berkshire Hathaway's Disappearing PetroChina Holdings

Days Elapsed
Shares Held
July 12 2,313,504,000 10.96%
Aug. 29 48 2,051,107,000 9.72% -279,297,000 -5,818,688
Sept. 6 8 1,884,654,700 8.93% -166,452,300 -20,806,538
Sept. 13 7 1,687,730,000 7.99% -196,924,700 -28,132,100
Sept. 21 8 1,470,601,000 6.97% -217,129,000 -27,141,125
Sept. 25 4 1,148,269,000 5.44% -322,332,000 -80,583,000
Sept. 30 5 652,875,000 3.09% -495,394,000 -99,078,800
Source: Berkshire Hathaway Hong Kong Stock Exchange & SEC Filings

As the table shows, the selling has been accelerating over the last few weeks, reaching an average selling rate of almost 100 million shares a day at the end of September.

This could be the last we hear for awhile. Berkshire is not required to reveal any additional sales since it owns less than 5% of the outstanding shares. For all we know, the entire stake may have been liquidated by now. Given the pace of selling, I wouldn't be surprised.

To catch up on the controversy surrounding Buffett's PetroChina holdings and what might be motivating the sales, check out some of the previous WBW posts on the subject.

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