Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway buys stakes in 5 Japanese investment firms

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Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. has taken stakes of just over 5% in five of Japan’s most venerable companies with significant investments in energy.

Berkshire BRK.B,
-0.33%
disclosed the investments in Mitsubishi Corp. 8058,
-0.38%
, Mitsui & Co. 8031,
+ 0.15%
, Sumitomo Corp. 8053,
-0.12%
, Itochu Corp. 8001,
-0.11%
and Marubeni Corp. 8002,
-0.40%
just before the Tokyo Stock Exchange opens on Monday.

Shares of all five companies jumped at least 5% and in some cases more than 10%, helping to push up the Nikkei Stock Average NIK,
-0.40%
up 2% in intraday trade on Monday. Berkshire did not say how much it spent to acquire the shares. Based on the companies’ closing prices on Friday, a 5% stake in each would collectively be worth around $ 6 billion.

The five are often referred to as trading companies, but the investment company could be a more precise description. All of them have stakes in a variety of businesses, including interests in energy and mining. Mitsubishi and Itochu each control a large chain of convenience stores in Japan.

“I am delighted that Berkshire Hathaway is involved in the future of Japan and the five companies we have chosen to invest,” Buffett said in a statement. He said the five companies “have a lot of joint ventures around the world and are likely to have more of these partnerships.”

An extended version of this report appears on WSJ.com.

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