Warren Buffett says global recovery taking hold

Warren Buffett says global recovery taking hold

New Delhi: US billionaire investor Warren Buffett said on Wednesday that the global economic recovery is steadily taking hold, even if is not as fast as people would like.

“The economy of America, United States and others around the world are improving month-by-month," America’s most famous investor, the so-called “Oracle of Omaha", said during his first visit to India.

“It might not be quite as fast as everybody would like but it is happening," the chairman of investment giant Berkshire Hathaway told India’s CNBC-TV18 in an interview.

Buffett is in India to join Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates in seeking to persuade India’s super-rich to part with some of their wealth as part of the “Giving Pledge" drive launched by the tycoons last year.

Gates and Buffett, who dined with Chinese billionaires on a similar mission last September, were to meet wealthy Indians on Thursday in New Delhi.

Buffett, known for his stock picking acumen, added global economies will only be “slightly affected" by the deadly earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

He said the Japanese disaster will set Japan “back for a while, but it won’t set them back for years. They will come back."

He praised fast-growing India, a country of 1.2 billion people, as a “dream market."

“The number of people, the buying power that they are gaining, the ability to produce things, everything is getting better every day," he said. “I look forward to doing more business in India."

Buffett, 80, who has yet to name a successor for Berkshire Hathaway, added that the $200 billion investment company had “a clear succession plan."

“If I die at night, the board of directors has somebody. It is going to happen some night and the next morning, they know who will be in charge."

He dodged questions about whether Indian-born Ajit Jain, head of Berkshire’s reinsurance operations, might succeed him as chief executive, but heaped praise on him “as someone with incredible talent".

Jain has long been mentioned as a contender to succeed Buffett.