October 26, 2007 08:28
U.S. billionaire investor Warren Buffett arrived for his first visit to Korea on Thursday. Buffet headed straight for Daegu, where his investment firm Berkshire Hathaway's only Korean subsidiary TaeguTec is based. On his way, Buffet was briefed by Daegu mayor Kim Bum-il about the city's investment environment.
Buffett made an inspection tour of TaeguTec's major facilities including alloy, coating and drill plants. TaeguTec is an affiliate of International Metalworking Companies, an Israeli tungsten cutting tools manufacturer in which he acquired an 80 percent stake for US$4 billion in May 2005.
At a press conference after the tour, Buffett, a Cherry Coke in front of him, expressed optimism about the Korean stock market. "I don't think there is a bubble in the country's stock market and it remains one of the world's most attractively priced markets," the "Oarcle of Omaha" said. Buffet also invests in Coca Cola. TaeguTec said it had to import 100 cans of Cherry Coke from the U.S. because it is not available here.
Famous for his frugal lifestyle, he has been living in the same house he bought for $31,000 49 years ago and changes his car every 10 years -- the billionaire at a luncheon reception had a hamburger and another Cherry Coke instead of the hotel buffet costing W120,000 (US$1=W917) per person. Some 90 people were present at the reception, including Daesung Group chairman Kim Young-hoon and Jeffrey Jones, an advisory lawyer for the country's largest law firm Kim & Chang. But the reception turned into a signing session when the participants asked Buffett to autograph their $1 or W10,000 bills.
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