Warren Buffett is shaking Japan’s magic money tree

Shares in three of Japan’s five largest trading conglomerates reached record highs over the past week, following an announcement by Warren Buffett that he is keen to own more of their stock. It is just the latest good news for the firms. Itochu, Marubeni, Mitsui, Mitsubishi and Sumitomo Corporation have surged in value since Berkshire Hathaway, Mr Buffett’s investment firm, announced its first purchases on his 90th birthday in 2020. Since then, their share prices have risen by between 64% and 202%.

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In some ways Japan and Mr Buffett are a match made in heaven. Mr Buffett is famed for his unerring focus on business fundamentals. Even after a recent sell-off in American stocks the broad Tokyo market is still far cheaper. Its price-to-earnings ratio (based on expected earnings over the next year) is around 13, compared with 18 in America. The trading firms Berkshire…

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This article was written by and originally published on www.economist.com