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Berkshire Hathaway Buys Stakes in Five Japanese Trading Companies

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. took stakes of slightly more than 5% in five of Japan’s most venerable corporate names with big investments in energy.

Berkshire disclosed the investments in Mitsubishi Corp., Mitsui & Co., Sumitomo Corp., Itochu Corp. and Marubeni Corp. just before the Tokyo stock market opened Monday.

Shares in the five companies finished Tokyo trading up between 4.2% and 9.48%, helping the overall Nikkei Stock Average close 1.1% higher.

Berkshire didn’t say how much it spent to acquire the stakes. Based on the companies’ Friday closing prices, a 5% stake in each would collectively be worth about $6 billion.

The five are often called trading companies, but investment company might be a more precise description. All have stakes in a variety of businesses including interests in energy and mining. Mitsubishi and Itochu each control a major convenience-store chain in Japan.

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