Warren Buffett’s 14-year bet pays off as Berkshire Hathaway cashes in on BYD


Warren Buffett’s firm has sold off more than 11 million shares in the EV maker in last month.
  • Berkshire Hathaway has cashed in at least $300 million of BYD stock in the past month.
  • The hedge fund has sold off more than 11 million shares in the Tesla rival since January 3.
  • Warren Buffett initially invested $232 million in the group in 2008, with his stake now worth $4.7 billion.

Berkshire Hathaway cashed in at least $300 million of stocks in Chinese EV maker BYD last month, as it continues to cut its 14-year holding in Tesla’s main Asian rival.

Warren Buffett’s investment firm announced in a Hong Kong Stock Exchange filing that it had sold off 1,554,500 shares in BYD on January 27, dropping its stake in the EV maker from 13.97% to 12.9%.

Those numbers, however, don’t fully capture Berkshire Hathaway’s BYD stock sales over January, because the company only has to file when a transaction changes its percentage stake by a whole number. Data from the filing suggests a total 11,714,858 drop in Berkshire’s BYD shares since its last announcement on January 3.

BYD’s lowest share price within that period was 201.6 Hong Kong Dollars ($25.70), meaning the investment firm has shed at least $301,071,850.60 of its stake in the company. 

Berkshire has been involved in a gradual selloff of its BYD holdings, trimming its stake from 21.07% to the latest reported level of 12.9% in the space of two years. Buffett’s investment firm has held a stake in BYD since 2008.

The current value of Berkshire’s holdings in BYD stands at around $4.7 billion, signalling a sizable gain on its initial investment of $232 million more than 14 years ago. The carmaker represents a small fraction of Berkshire’s total portfolio.

Shares in BYD are up about 30% so far this year on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, while Tesla has jumped more than 67% on the NASDAQ. However, BYD’s losses last year of around 24% was much less severe than Tesla’s 69%.

BYD broke a record for EV sales in China last year, with its 1.9 million deliveries exceeding Tesla’s by 600,000 in the country, as the Shenzhen-based company shrugged off the negative impacts of COVID-19 lockdowns.

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