Warren Buffett: Japan a ‘buying opportunity’

A man walks in a street with his bicycle in Kesennuma, Miyagi prefecture, yesterday. Heavy rain along the northeast coast disrupted post-tsunami rescue efforts.

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett believes Japan’s devastating earthquake is the kind of extraordinary event that creates a buying opportunity for shares in Japanese companies.

Japan, the world’s third-largest economy, has been battling to bring an overheating nuclear plant under control after it was battered by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami that rattled global markets and prompted massive intervention in currency markets by the Group of Seven industrial nations.

“It will take some time to rebuild, but it will not change the economic future of Japan,” Buffett said yesterday on a visit to a South Korean factory run by a company owned by one of his funds. “If I owned Japanese stocks, I would certainly not be selling them.

“Frequently, something out of the blue like this, an extraordinary event, really creates a buying opportunity. I have seen that happen in the United States, I have seen that happen around the world. I don’t think Japan will be an exception,” said the 80-year-old investor, dubbed the “Sage of Omaha” for his successful long-term investment strategy. 


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