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Buffett puts India on his radar, to visit in March

Last Updated: Sunday, May 2, 2010 - 18:50

New York: The legendary investor Warren
Buffett, who has till now made only a few investment outside
the US, plans to visit India next March and is likely to
explore possible investment opportunities.

One of the richest persons in the world, Buffett is the
chairman and chief executive of the conglomerate Berkshire
Hathaway, which has holdings in diverse firms like Coca-Cola
and Swiss Re.

Speaking at the annual general meeting of Berkshire
Hathaway in Omaha yesterday, Buffet disclosed his plans to
visit India next year. According to the Wall Street Journal,
in response to a query on whether he would consider investing
in India, Buffett said he is eyeing the country and "is going
to make a trip to India in March next".

Attributing to Buffett, the publication said one problem
is that laws limit how much Berkshire can invest in Indian
companies. "Still, he sees potential noting that India has
made big improvements in the last 10 years," the paper said
quoting him.

In Asia, Berkshire`s current investments include those in
South Korean steel maker Posco and in Chinese entity BYD.
Switzerland and Israel are among other countries where
Berkshire has investments.

Going by media reports, Buffett did not rule out India as
a possible destination for Berkshire investments. Further,
Buffett was quoted as saying that his company had looked at
Indian insurance business. Berkshire`s main businesses are in
insurance and reinsurance areas.

The conglomerate`s reinsurance business is run by
India-origin Ajit Jain, long rumoured to become the successor
of the billionaire investor at Berkshire.

In his annual letter to shareholders this year, Buffett
described Jain as a "superstar" and said Jain is known
worldwide as the man to call when something both very large
and unusual needs to be insured.

"A hugely important event in Berkshire`s history occurred
on a Saturday in 1985. Ajit Jain came into our office in Omaha
- and I immediately knew we had found a superstar," he wrote
in his annual letter to his shareholders. Jain was given
charge of then small and struggling reinsurance operations.

"If Charlie (Buffett`s partner), I and Ajit are ever in a
sinking boat and you can only save one of us swim to Ajit
(Jain)," Buffett had said.

In last year`s annual letter too, Buffett had showered
praise on Jain while asserting that there is no one like him.


First Published: Sunday, May 2, 2010 - 18:50
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