Warren Buffet dumps IBM, buys 75 mn more Apple shares

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Buffett made big news ahead of the meeting, telling CNBC that Berkshire had bought 75 million more shares of Apple in the first quarter, raising its total stake in the iPhone maker to almost 242 million shares.

Why Buffett is not afraid of the stock market: The Berkshire Hathaway CEO is one of the most ardent bulls when it comes to the USA stock market and the economy at large.

Now, after the additional share purchases and an 8% rise in price since the start of the year, the firm's stake is worth more than $44bn.

In an interview with CNBC on Monday, Buffett said his company, Berkshire Hathaway, had bought more Apple shares than any other stock over the past year.

Billionaire Warren Buffett made a huge bet on Apple, adding 75 million shares to his existing position of more than 165 million shares.

Apple now accounts for a quarter of Berkshire Hathaway's assets and is the biggest holding for it.

The Apple purchase, costing between US$11 billion and US$14 billion, adds to the nearly 170 million shares that Mr Buffett-run Berkshire Hathaway Inc owned at the end of 2017, when it was already his biggest shareholding.

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"The United States and China are going to be the two superpowers of the world, economically and in other ways, for a long, long, long time", Buffett said.

The US and China have a lot of common interests, and despite the recent tensions (read trade war) between the two economic superpowers, both the countries have a lot to gain by working together at present.

The report for the first quarter is set for release on Saturday morning, just before Berkshire's annual shareholder meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, Mr.Buffett's hometown. "I don't agree with that", said Catherine Keane, a 67-year-old shareholder attending her first annual meeting.

Just days before Buffett disclosed the larger stake, Apple reported quarterly results that topped analysts' estimates.

Up to Friday's close, Apple stock had risen 9.8% since Berkshire disclosed on February 14 that it had raised its stake in the company.

Billionaire Warren Buffett on Saturday defended his earlier remark that it would be "ridiculous" for the conglomerate not to do business with gun manufacturers, noting that he does not want to impose his political views on Berkshire's investment decisions or business operations.

The accounting change required Berkshire to report $6.2 billion of unrealized losses in its marketable stock portfolio, which totaled $170.5 billion at year end, regardless of whether it planned to sell those stocks. The shares closed up 3.9% at $183.83 on Friday.