News / Economy

Buffett Eyes India for Investment Opportunities

Billionaire investor Warren Buffett gestures at a press conference in New Delhi, India, March 24, 2011.
Billionaire investor Warren Buffett gestures at a press conference in New Delhi, India, March 24, 2011.


Anjana Pasricha

American investor Warren Buffett says he is looking at investment opportunities in India.  The world’s third richest man, who has given away most of his fortune, has also expressed optimism that philanthropy will increase in India.

Warren Buffet’s first-ever visit to India this week was packed with high profile meetings attended by top industry leaders, Indian billionaires and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Big market

Buffett, famed for his skills in identifying lucrative investments, said that in recent years, he is seeing more investment opportunities beyond the United States. He says he considers India a logical place to look and hopes to spend some money here.  

Buffett says he would not classify India as an emerging market, but a very big market.

"We need to invest billions of dollars, and that is very tough in many emerging countries, they just are not that large," Buffet said. "We tend to look at larger countries, in India, China, Brazil, United  Kingdom, Germany, you name it, those all fit us."

His parent company, Berkshire Hathaway, made its first investment in India earlier this month in the insurance sector when it agreed to become a corporate agent for Indian insurance company, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance.

Buffett says restrictions on foreign ownership of up to 26 percent in the insurance sector in India could act as a deterrent to investment.    

Berkshire Hathaway had $38 billion in cash and cash equivalents at the end of 2010 for investment, and Indian businesses hope to attract some of that capital to their country.

Good for everyone

Buffet dismissed fears that the growing economies of India and China present any sort of threat to the United States. He says more trade is good for everyone.      

"The more India prospers or China prospers, the more the United States is going to prosper over the long term, and there are people in every country that resist that idea, whether it is the United States or you name it around the world, but I think they have been shown to be wrong by economic history and I think they will continue to be shown wrong," he said.

Meeting of the rich

Buffett, along with Microsoft founder Bill Gates, also held a closed-door meeting with about 70 of India’s richest men for what was termed a  "giving discussion." The two men have donated much of their wealth to charity and hope to nudge other billionaires to do the same.

Although no firm pledges were announced after the meeting, Buffett called the meeting productive. He said people "drew strength and conviction from hearing others talk" and expressed confidence that there will be increases in India in the percentages going to philanthropy over the next decade.

In a country where 450 million people live in poverty, about 50 billionaires account for a staggering 20 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. But India’s super rich have often attracted criticism for earmarking only tiny amounts for philanthropic activities, and not doing enough for charitable causes.

You May Like

Video Russia’s Syrian Escalation Tests Obama’s Crisis Response

Critics once again question whether president has been slow to act on Syrian conflict, thus creating opening for powers like Russia More

Ancient African DNA Shows Mass Migration Back Into Africa

First genetic analysis of ancient human remains in Africa suggests massive migration from north around time of Egyptian empire More

NASA: Pluto Has Blue Sky

New photos also reveal the presence of water ice More

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugeesi
Henry Ridgwell
October 08, 2015 8:02 PM
Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugees

Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Iraqi-Kurdish Teachers Vow to Continue Protest

Sixteen people were injured when police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse teachers and other public employees who took to the streets in Iraq’s Kurdish north, demanding their salaries from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). VOA’s Dilshad Anwar, in Sulaimaniya, caught up with protesting teachers who say they have not been paid for three months. Parke Brewer narrates his report.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

VOA Blogs

World Currencies


Rates may not be current.