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Buffett unlikely to invest in Indian auto sector

Buffett unlikely to invest in Indian auto sector
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First Published: Wed, Mar 23 2011. 05 12 PM IST
Updated: Wed, Mar 23 2011. 05 12 PM IST
Mumbai: Billionaire Warren Buffett, who is looking to invest in large countries such as China, India and Brazil, said on Wednesday he expected global output to rise “significantly” over the next year.
On his first visit to India , the 80-year-old US investor said he was unlikely to enter the country’s automobile market, which is one of the world’s fastest growing.
“It’s unlikely I would go into that (autos) myself. For one thing, the ownerships are pretty well established in that field,” he said in an interaction with executives on India’s CNBC-TV18.
His Berkshire Hathaway Inc holds a 10% stake in BYD Co Ltd , a Chinese car maker that also makes rechargeable batteries and cell phone components.
Buffett, who is yet to name a successor to take over his $200-billion empire, skirted questions on his succession plan but praised Berkshire veteran Ajit Jain for smoothly running much of the company’s insurance business.
“We have a clear succession plan at Berkshire Hathaway, we just haven’t announced it yet,” he said.
Buffett was also in Bangalore to visit the local arm of TaeguTec, a unit of Israeli metal-cutting tool maker ISCAR Metalworking, in which Berkshire has a majority stake.
Ranked the world’s third-richest man by Forbes magazine, he is also in the country to launch Berkshire’s insurance selling portal and is scheduled to meet policyholders in the Indian capital later this week in an event advertised as “Wit, Wisdom, Warren”.
Berkshire marked its entry into the insurance sector in Asia’s third-largest economy as a corporate agent for Bajaj Allianz General Insurance in early March 2011.
On Tuesday, Buffett had said he was looking to invest in large countries, but added that restrictions on foreign ownership in India’s insurance industry could act as a deterrent .
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First Published: Wed, Mar 23 2011. 05 12 PM IST