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Warren Buffett’s Latest Gamble: $6.7 Billion Invested in Insurance Giant

Daniel Kim Views  

Reuters Yonhap News

Berkshire Hathaway, the American investment company led by Warren Buffett, has been secretly buying stocks of the casualty insurance company Chubb since the third quarter of last year. Berkshire kept Chubb’s acquisition a secret for more than two quarters.

According to data submitted to the U.S. government authorities, Berkshire Hathaway owned about 26 million shares of Chubb based in Zurich, Switzerland, as of the end of March this year. It has a market value of 6.7 billion U.S. dollars.

CNBC reported on the 15th that Chubb’s stock had become the ninth-largest item in the Berkshire Hathaway Inc. portfolio.

Chubb shares surged by about 7% in after-hours trading after news broke of Berkshire’s stake acquisition. It has risen by about 12% so far this year.

Chubb, the world’s largest listed casualty insurance company, was acquired by ACE Limited for $29.5 billion in 2016. The company’s name was inherited as Chubb.

Chubb’s CEO is Evan Greenberg, the son of Maurice Greenberg, the former chairman and CEO of AIG, an American insurance company.

Berkshire Hathaway kept its acquisition of Chubb confidential for more than two quarters, with authorities permitting it to keep one or more of its holdings undisclosed.

The secretly acquired stock was not mentioned at Berkshire’s annual meeting in Omaha earlier this month.

In a separate filing, Berkshire reported that its holdings in banking, insurance, and finance stocks increased by $3.59 billion in the second half of last year and $1.4 billion in the first quarter of this year. This led investors to speculate that Berkshire had purchased many bank stocks.

Meanwhile, Berkshire sold about 115 million shares of Apple Inc. in the first quarter.

As a result, Berkshire’s holdings in Apple Inc. decreased to around $135.4 billion, which accounts for about 40% of its total portfolio.

Most of the $20 billion worth of stocks that Berkshire sold in the first quarter were Apple Inc.’s.

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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