Warren Buffett, chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway
David A. Grogan | CNBC
Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway this week added to his already-enormous stake in Bank of America at a time when the coronavirus pandemic dampens the economic outlook and interest rates hold near record lows.
A Securities and Exchange Commission filing showed Buffett’s conglomerate bought 21.2 million shares of the banking giant between Tuesday and Thursday. That increased Berkshire’s stake in Bank of America by $522 million and sets its total position in the bank at 11.8%.
The average purchase price was $24.65 per share.
Berkshire has been buying small amounts of Bank of America stock every day since July 20.
Last week, a similar filing revealed the Berkshire bought 33.9 million shares of the banking giant by midweek. That increased Berkshire’s stake by $813.3 million to more than $24 billion.
In total since the recent buying began, Berkshire has purchased $1.7 billion worth of the stock.
News of Berkshire’s latest nibbles at Bank of America wasn’t enough to keep shares out of negative territory Friday. By midday, it was down fractionally. Berkshire also has stakes in JPMorgan and Wells Fargo.
Bank shares have been hit lately as concerns about the economy keep interest rates low. Bank of America shares are off by 29% this year.
Though Buffett voiced his usual upbeat tone on the American economy during Berkshire’s annual shareholder meeting in May, he did acknowledge the extreme pressure the Covid-19 pandemic is having on certain industries.
“Nothing can basically stop America,” Buffett told shareholders during the virtual meeting. “The American miracle, the American magic has always prevailed and it will do so again.”
— With reporting by Alex Crippen.
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