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Warren Buffet Exudes Optimism Over Korean Economy

Posted May. 05, 2009 06:15,   


Investment guru Warren Buffet predicted yesterday “bright prospects” for Korea’s economic growth, saying the country is coping well with the global economic crisis.

The chairman of Berkshire Hathaway also said he bought Korean stocks with his personal funds, while his company is also looking closely at Korean corporations to increase its stock investment in the country.

At a news conference after the annual shareholders’ meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, Buffet said that while most emerging markets are bearing the brunt of the global economic slump, Korea is “different.”

Koreans have made great achievements in manufacturing and will perform very well over the next several years, he added.

Buffet declined to name the companies he has invested in or disclose their sectors, but is said to have invested in about 20 Korean companies.

He said Berkshire Hathaway is looking for huge profit opportunities, predicting great gains if he buys Korean stocks at the right prices.

Owning 5.2 percent of POSCO, Buffet called Korea’s top steelmaker a “fabulous” company and that his investment in the company has been “very successful.” He also said he bought additional POSCO bonds in March this year.

Though the steel industry is suffering from difficulty, improvement will come soon since hardship will not last forever, he said.

Berkshire Hathaway Vice Chairman Charlie Munger also called POSCO the world’s top-notch steelmaker in product development capabilities, management efficiency, and financial condition. He also gave high marks to leading Korean companies, saying they are among the world’s best.

Munger said Korea is also one of three countries he and his family have invested in.