Warren Buffett’s business partner loads up on Alibaba’s US-listed shares as stock slide persists

  • Daily Journal Corp, whose chairman is Buffett’s long-time business partner, nearly doubled its stake as of December 31, according to filing
  • The publishing firm started buying in early 2021 as stock plunged 48 per cent through the year following China’s crackdown on tech firms

Daily Journal Corp, the publishing and technology company of which Warren Buffett’s long-time business partner Charlie Munger is chairman, has nearly doubled its stake in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding’s American depositary shares.

The US company raised its holding by 99.3 per cent to 602,060 shares as of December 31, according to a regulatory filing on Tuesday, making the stake worth about US$72 million. It first disclosed a stake in Alibaba in April last year worth US$37 million or almost one-fifth of its portfolio.

The 98-year old Munger, who is also the vice-chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, has been bullish on China. He had previously praised the country’s crackdown on Jack Ma’s Ant Group, the fintech giant whose record US$37 billion stock offering was derailed by regulators in November 2020.

Berkshire Hathaway Chairman Warren Buffett (left) and vice-chairman Charlie Munger are seen at the annual Berkshire shareholder shopping day in Omaha, Nebraska in May 2019


China’s technology giants have come under heavy regulatory pressures and are grappling with major fines, with Alibaba paying a record US$2.75 billion for anti-monopoly violations. Alibaba’s shares in the US lost more than 48 per cent of their value in 2021. They fell 0.7 per cent on Tuesday to US$119.56.

Alibaba’s Hong Kong-listed shares climbed 1.4 per cent to HK$118.50 in early Wednesday trading.

Daily Journal still notched up a US$106 million gain on its overall investments for the year to September 30, according to its latest annual report, even though its Alibaba bet plunged in value. The value of its portfolio increased 94 per cent to US$348 million, boosting total unrealised gains by 77 per cent to US$244 million.

Billionaire Munger manages the newspaper publisher and software supplier’s investment portfolio, which has a cost base of US$103 million.

Authors: Reuters, Business Insider, SCMP Reporter, SCMP

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