Warren Buffett, with cash piling up at Berkshire Hathaway Inc, said he invested US$12 billion in currencies, held onto most of his high-yield, high-risk bonds and regretted not selling some of Berkshire's stock holdings. \nBuffett, 73, Berkshire's chairman and the world's second-richest man, told shareholders in his annual letter that he saw few bargains in stocks and bonds. Cash at the Omaha, Nebraska-based company jumped to US$36 billion from US$31 billion in September, and was earning "pathetically low interest." \n"It's a painful condition to be in -- but not as painful as doing something stupid," Buffett said. \nThe dilemma so far hasn't prevented Buffett from increasing Berkshire's book value by an average of 22 percent a year during the past four decades. The company reported Saturday that fourth-quarter net income doubled to US$2.39 billion, or US$1,553 per Class A share, on a rebound in insurance units. Buffett said the company needs acquisitions to keep growing. \nThe foreign exchange purchases, made in five different currencies, represented Buffett's biggest investment in the last two years. Buffett said he started betting against the dollar in 2002 on concern that the US trade deficit would erode the value of the country's currency. The dollar has dropped 11 percent against the euro in the past 12 months. \nShares of Berkshire, which owns energy, aviation, paint and carpet companies, increased 44 percent in the past year. They rose US$1,000 to US$93,000 in New York Stock Exchange composite trading Friday. \nInvestors scrutinize Buffett's letters, which accompany year-end results, in an effort to emulate his performance. \nLast year, Buffett said Berk-shire bought US$8 billion of high-yield, high-risk, or junk, bonds. Though price increases halted his bond purchases last year, Berkshire retained most of its holdings, Buffett said in Saturday's letter. \nBuffett, who tends to buy and hold investments, said he missed an opportunity to dispose of some of Berkshire's stocks when markets soared in the late 1990s. \n"I made a big mistake in not selling several of our larger holdings during `The Great Bubble,'" Buffett said. "If these stocks are fully priced now, you may wonder what I was thinking four years ago when their intrinsic value was lower and their prices far higher. So do I." \nBerkshire is the biggest shareholder of Atlanta-based Coca- Cola Co, New York-based American Express Co and Gillette Co, based in Boston. He didn't specify which stocks he regrets not selling. Coca-Cola shares have fallen 43 percent from their peak in 1998, while American Express shares are down 16 percent.
BRIBERY CASE: President Tsai Ing-wen accepted Su Jia-chyuan’s resignation as he said that he deeply regretted causing trouble for the president due to the investigation Presidential Office Secretary-General Su Jia-chyuan (蘇嘉全) yesterday resigned after his nephew, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清), was implicated in a bribery case related to a dispute over the ownership of Pacific Sogo Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨). “I resigned from the post so that President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) would not be bothered by it anymore, and the prosecutors can investigate the case in a fair and just manner. I thank President Tsai once again for supporting me. May the country continue to prosper under her leadership,” Su Jia-chyuan said in a statement. The Presidential Office said that Tsai has accepted
ALEX AZAR: The first visit by a head of the Department of Health and Human Services would strictly observe the CECC’s special regulations, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said US Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Alex Azar is to lead a delegation to Taiwan — the highest-level visit by a US Cabinet official since the two sides cut formal relations in 1979. The plan was announced yesterday morning by the US Department of Health and Human Services and confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA). Beijing has expressed its concerns to Washington, Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin (汪文斌) said later yesterday. Taiwan and the US only issued statements saying that the visit would happen “in the coming days.” MOFA said that due to security concerns, it would
‘CROSS-STRAIT CONSIDERATIONS’: Groups said that the Ministry of Education’s policies excluded Chinese and students should not be blocked over political issues The Taiwan International Student Movement yesterday said it would protest today outside the Ministry of Education in Taipei against a policy that excludes some Chinese students from returning to Taiwan amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Since June 17, the ministry has allowed foreign students from 19 “low risk” and “medium-low risk” countries and regions to enter Taiwan. On July 22, it announced that it was relaxing restrictions to include students from all countries and regions who are graduating this semester and on Wednesday it further expanded entry to students enrolled in degree programs. A letter sent by the ministry on Wednesday to universities did
The military last week sent “no small number” of Marine Corps officers to the Pratas Islands (Dongsha Island, 東沙群島) following reports of a Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) drill targeting the islands scheduled for this month. In an interview with Hong Kong’s Bauhinia Magazine published on Saturday last week, PLA National Defense University professor Li Daguang (李大光) confirmed that the Chinese army was planning to stage a simulated invasion of the Pratas Islands in the South China Sea this month. The islands comprise three atolls, with Pratas Island, at 1.74km2, being the largest. They lie southwest of Taiwan proper in the South