News Column

Buffett Snubs the Flotation of Facebook

May 7, 2012

Simon Watkins

The world's most famous investor, Warren Buffett, has told his thousands of star-struck investors that he has no intention of buying shares in the flotation of Facebook.

The head of investment group Berkshire Hathaway said on US television that he had no plans to buy into the social networking site, which is being floated at a value of almost $100 billion later this year.

The comments came ahead of this weekend's shareholder meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, where Berkshire Hathaway investors gathered to hear Buffett's thoughts on investment and the state of the economy.

As chairman and chief executive, Buffett -- dubbed the Sage of Omaha -- has become an investment legend as his business has regularly outperformed the stock market, although its results have been more disappointing in recent years.

In January he gave a fillip to Tesco when it was announced that Berkshire Hathaway had raised its stake in the supermarket from 3.2 per cent to just over five per cent, a day after the group had issued a shock profits warning.

Buffett, 81, has built stakes in some of the world's biggest names, including Coca-Cola, American Express and Kraft Foods.

His Facebook statement will not please the website's backers, but he was careful to say he did not believe high-tech stocks were in a valuation bubble similar to the one that burst at the end of the 1991-2000 dotcom boom.

Facebook's price has raised eyebrows among many analysts who say that very high growth rates will be needed in future profits to justify the valuation.

Source: (c)2012 the Daily Mail (London, )

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