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China Tensions a Factor in Berkshire TSMC Stake Sale: Buffett

The investment mogul described the Taiwanese chipmaker as a well-managed company, but said his investment group had better places to deploy capital

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TSMC opened of its first Japanese factory on Saturday. Photo: Reuters


US investment mogul Warren Buffett said geopolitical tensions were “a consideration” in his group Berkshire Hathaway’s decision to sell most of its stake in Taiwanese chipmaker TSMC just a few months after buying it.

In an interview with Japanese newspaper Nikkei, Buffett described TSMC as a well-managed company, but said Berkshire had better places to deploy capital. Buffett was in Japan to meet with five Japanese trading houses in which Berkshire invests.

Berkshire had bought more than $4.1 billion of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co’s shares between July and September 2022, but in February said it had sold 86% of its stake by year-end.


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The size of the investment suggested that Buffett had bought the shares for Berkshire, rather than one of the group’s portfolio managers. The eventual stake sale was unexpected given the billionaire’s preference to invest for the long-term.

Taiwan-based TSMC is the world’s largest contract chipmaker and enjoys a near-monopoly in making cutting-edge chips for customers from Apple to Nvidia.

But governments and business leaders across the world have become increasingly concerned about their dependence on TSMC’s critical advanced chips, in the face of increasing Chinese military pressure on Taiwan. China claims the self-governed island as its own.

Just this week, China’s military conducted intense military drills around Taiwan, which included practising precision strikes and blockading the island under actual combat conditions.

China’s actions came on the heels of Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen’s visit to the United States, where she met with House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy last week. Beijing denounced the meeting, accusing the US of colluding with separatists seeking “Taiwan independence”.


  • Reuters, with additional editing by Vishakha Saxena


Also read:

China Preparing for War, Taiwan Foreign Minister Tells CNN

TSMC Dumped by Several Funds Other Than Buffett’s Berkshire

US Firms in Taiwan Reviewing Plans as China Tensions Rise

Taiwan Defence Spending to Focus on ‘Total’ China Blockade

China’s Taiwan Threats Prompt Funds Strategy Rethink

US Would ‘Destroy Taiwan Chip Factories if China Invaded’ – BI



Vishakha Saxena

Vishakha Saxena is the Multimedia and Social Media Editor at Asia Financial. She has worked as a digital journalist since 2013, and is an experienced writer and multimedia producer. As a trader and investor, she is keenly interested in new economy, emerging markets and the intersections of finance and society. You can write to her at [email protected]


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