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Warren Buffett tells CNBC he has not sold a share of Apple
August 30, 2017 / 3:38 PM / in 2 months

Warren Buffett tells CNBC he has not sold a share of Apple

Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett waits to play table tennis during the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting weekend in Omaha, Nebraska, U.S. May 7, 2017. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Billionaire investor Warren Buffett told CNBC on Wednesday that he had not sold a share of Apple (AAPL.O) and was not concerned about Wells Fargo (WFC.N) as a long-term investment, calling it a “terrific” bank.

Buffett, chairman and chief executive of conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway Inc (BRKa.N), said about Apple compared to IBM (IBM.N): “I feel more certain about the future as I look at a company like Apple than when I look at IBM now.”

Berkshire has disclosed a roughly $20 billion stake in Apple. Buffett owned about 81 million shares of IBM at the end of 2016 and sold about a third of them in the first and second quarters of 2017, CNBC reported in May, citing Buffett.

Buffett also said Wednesday that he continued to have faith in investments in Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) and Wells Fargo. Berkshire has become Bank of America’s largest shareholder by exercising its right to acquire 700 million shares at a steep discount, more than tripling an investment it made six years ago.

When asked if U.S. food company Kraft Heinz (KHC.O) would buy Mondelez (MDLZ.O), Buffett said: “I think the answer is no on that.” He also said Kraft Heinz, which Berkshire controls along with Brazilian firm 3G Capital, would not again seek to buy Unilever Plc (ULVR.L).

Kraft Heinz withdrew its proposal for a $143 billion merger with larger rival Unilever Plc, the companies said in February. Following a six-month cooling off period required by UK takeover law which expired this month, there has been speculation over whether Kraft Heinz would come back for another shot at Anglo-Dutch consumer goods giant Unilever.

“That was a misunderstanding, basically. We will not make hostile takeover offers, and we did not intend that to be hostile, but it turned out it was, and we immediately the next day, when I learned about it, we called it off,” Buffett said on Kraft Heinz’s bid.

When asked why he was silent about U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration, Buffett said: “I am not in the business of attacking any president, nor do I think I should be.” He had supported Hillary Clinton in last year’s presidential election.

Reporting by Sam Forgione; Editing by Phil Berlowitz

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