Back in 2008, Warren Buffett (Trades, Portfolio), at the behest of his long-time friend and partner Charlie Munger (Trades, Portfolio), acquired a 9.9% stake in China’s battery and electric car company BYD Co. Ltd. (HKSE:01211). The stock abruptly soared but, unlike most of his investments, promptly plunged back down as trouble hit the company. Five years later, BYD appears to be showing signs of progress and Buffett’s investment is beginning to multiply.
Buffett first addressed his BYD holding in his 2008 shareholder letter, casually mentioning that at his annual shareholder meeting, “The future will be represented by a new plug-in electric car developed by BYD, an amazing Chinese company in which we have a 10% interest.” The following year, his shareholder letter reported he owned 225 million shares of the company, purchased for $232 million and already worth $1.986 billion – a 756% gain. Continue Reading »