Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); }

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc said on Friday it has sold much of its stake in Goldman Sachs Group Inc, despite the billionaire’s assurance that the banking sector was not a “primary worry” for him during the coronavirus pandemic.

In a regulatory filing detailing its U.S.-listed investments as of March 31, Berkshire said its Goldman stake fell 84 per cent to 1.9 million shares, from 12 million at year-end, with the stake’s market value dropping to $297 million from $2.76 billion.

Goldman’s stock price fell about 33 per cent during the quarter, and some of Berkshire’s selling appears to have occurred after the slide began.

Story continues below advertisement

Berkshire sold its remaining small stakes in the insurer Travelers Cos and oil refiner Phillips 66, and tweaked several holdings. Its stake in Wells Fargo & Co was unchanged, though the stock’s price fell 47 per cent.

A request for comment to Buffett’s assistant was not immediately returned. Berkshire has more than 90 operating units including Geico, the BNSF railroad, Dairy Queen ice cream and its namesake energy business.

Investors monitor Berkshire’s quarterly filings to see where Buffett and his portfolio managers Ted Weschler and Todd Combs see value. Buffett normally directs larger investments such as Apple Inc.

The Goldman stake originated in a $5 billion preferred stock investment at the height of the 2008 financial crisis, in a vote of confidence by Buffett for the Wall Street bank.

Berkshire’s selling was disclosed after Buffett said at the May 2 annual shareholders’ meeting of his Omaha, Nebraska-based conglomerate that banks were now well-capitalized and capable of weathering economic distress from the pandemic.

“If problems become severe enough in an economy, even strong banks can be under a lot of stress, and we’ll be very glad we’ve got the Federal Reserve system standing behind them,” he said.

“Overall the banking system is not going to be the problem,” he added. “They are not a primary worry of mine at all.”

Story continues below advertisement

Berkshire remains a major shareholder in American Express , Bank of America, Bank of New York Mellon , JPMorgan Chase, PNC Financial, US Bancorp and Wells Fargo.

Maeve DuVally, a Goldman spokeswoman, declined immediate comment.

Doug Kass, managing partner at Seabreeze Capital Investment Inc, called the Goldman stock sale “not surprising,” following Berkshire’s sale of 6.3 million Goldman shares in the fourth quarter.

Berkshire ended March with a record $137.3 billion of cash, disappointing investors unhappy with the low yields it generates for the company. The cash stake likely rose in April as Berkshire sold its entire stakes in the four largest U.S. airlines: American, Delta, Southwest and United.

Be smart with your money. Get the latest investing insights delivered right to your inbox three times a week, with the Globe Investor newsletter. Sign up today.

Report an error
Tickers mentioned in this story
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies