Several investment funds other then Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway sold their shares in Taiwan chipmaker TSMC in the fourth quarter, regulatory filings show.
The biggest sellers of shares in Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) included investment firms Tiger Global Management, GQG Partners and Capital Group, BlackRock Inc, as well as JPMorgan & Chase.
On Tuesday, Berkshire revealed in a filing that it had cut its position in the world’s largest contract chipmaker by 86%. That was only roughly three months after having bought $4.1 billion worth of TSMC stock.
The announcement drove shares in TSMC down 6% on Wednesday, although they remain up 23.5% this year.
Equity long-short hedge fund Tiger entirely sold its 1.3 million shares in TSMC in the fourth quarter. The stake was worth $119 million at current share prices.
Just like Berkshire, Tiger Global had bought the shares in TSMC in the third quarter.
One of the biggest sellers of TSMC shares was Fort Lauderdale-based investment firm GQG Partners.
It slashed its position by 63%, still remaining with 6.7 million, or $616.2 million. GQG did not immediately comment on the matter.
Fund manager Capital Group also sold over 9.5 million shares in the chipmaker, regulatory filings showed. Capital Group declined to comment on its investment decisions.
JPMorgan and BlackRock dumped roughly 4 million shares in TSMC each. JPMorgan declined to comment and BlackRock did not immediately respond to a request for comments.
Mystery around Berkshire sale
Berkshire’s investors are still trying to figure out why Buffett decided to sell most of its shares in TSMC.
On Tuesday, Charles Munder, a director and vice-chairman of Berkshire, said TSMC is the “strongest semiconductor company on earth.” However, he did not elaborate on the reasons for the share sale.
“I’m a bit baffled. Maybe Berkshire decided it wanted to add Apple more than he wanted to own TSMC,” said Bill Smead, chief investment officer of Smead Capital Management. Smead is an investor in Berkshire.
A long-time investor in Berkshire, Thomas Russo, a partner at Gardner, Russo & Gardner, speculated Buffett might have seen an environment change, which could not be good for the TSMC.
“Berkshire reserves the right to turn on a dime to redeploy the money, to respond to circumstances,” Russo said.
- Reuters, with additional editing by Vishakha Saxena