Monthly Archives: November 2021

Berkshire Hathaway-backed BYD Sells 70 More eBuses to Finland

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Berkshire Hathaway-backed BYD, the world’s leading eBus manufacturer, has secured another high-volume order for its zero-emission electric buses from Nobina in Finland. Nobina, the largest public transport operator in the Nordic region, has ordered a further 70 latest generation BYD eBuses in a strategic move to expand its fast evolving “green fleet.”

This latest order from Nobina Finland spans two of BYD’s best-selling electric bus models, comprising 42 units of the 42-foot bus model and 28 units of BYD’s 50-foot model. They are scheduled for delivery next summer, 2022 and will primarily operate on city routes in the Helsinki Metropolitan area.

The electric buses benefit from the latest generation BYD Iron-Phosphate Battery technology for optimized battery life and a longer driving range. The 42-foot model delivers a single charge range of 250 miles, while its larger 50-foot counterpart enjoys over 280 miles.

This is Nobina Finland’s second major order for BYD pure-electric buses, having taken delivery of 119 units in the summer of 2021. Combined, these buses have quietly and cleanly driven more than one 620,000 miles in Finland, saving 1400 tons of CO2 emissions. BYD is pleased and proud to support Nobina Finland on its green journey.

Nobina is a high-profile name in sustainable public transport throughout Scandinavia and, like BYD, places great emphasis on reducing pollution and protecting the environment.

The successful commercial relationship between Nobina and BYD, which initially started in 2015, continues to flourish as a result of the close synergy between the two brands and their core values in driving a greener world. Nobina currently has over 300 BYD electric buses operating in towns and cities across Sweden, Norway and Finland.

BYD buses are living up to their reputation for reliability in tough climatic conditions as demonstrated by those vehicles operating in the town of Piteå in North East Sweden. Close to the Artic Circle, Piteå with a latitude of 65.31° north, is the most northerly location in Europe. Thirteen 40-foot buses are in operation in this area following their delivery in May 2021.

Petri Auno, CEO, Nobina Finland, said: “Nobina is totally committed to sustainable transportation and this latest order for additional BYD electric buses is a testament to our strategy to replenish our fleet with clean, zero-emissions solutions that are kind to the environment. We continue to select BYD buses based on their excellent track record for reliability, operational efficiency, performance, safety and of course, for the comfort they provide to our passengers. BYD buses now account for 25% of our Nobina Finland fleet and we look forward to enhancing this in the future.”

Isbrand Ho, Managing Director, BYD Europe B.V., said: “We are delighted to have been awarded another prestigious order from Nobina Finland. Scandinavia is fast embracing eMobility, as demonstrated by the many hundreds of BYD eBuses already in operation across the Nordics. As an established and valued customer, with whom BYD shares so many environmental and ethical values, we are very pleased to support Nobina’s sustainable goals as it continues on its green, electric journey.”

Around 600 BYD electric buses have either been delivered, or are on order, from public transport operators and authorities across 20 cities in the Nordics. These pure-electric, eco-friendly buses have clocked up more than 18.6 million zero-emission miles, reducing CO2 emissions by 32,000 tons.

BYD and Berkshire Hathaway

In 2008, Berkshire Hathaway bet on BYD’s potential, purchasing 225 million shares for $232 million. It’s an investment that has paid off handsomely. Berkshire’s original investment of $232 million had grown in value to $5.897 billion as of December 31, 2020.

© 2021 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway and BYD, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell a stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Lessons From Warren Buffett: The Fact That a Part of the Market Is Kind of Screwy, That’s Unimportant to Us

To some investors, “meme stocks” that are bid up to the stratosphere, or stocks with no earnings that have sky-high valuations, or other examples of wild speculation, are a warning sign that they should get out of the market, or at least move to a more conservative position. However, crazy behavior is not of great concern to Warren Buffett, and as he pointed out, long before meme stocks, that speculation is not a new part of the market and that he has seen an awful of it over the course of his lifetime. “We’re trying to find wonderful businesses. And the fact that a part of the market is kind of screwy, that’s unimportant to us,” Buffett noted.

“Throughout the careers Charlie and I have had in investing, there have always been hundreds of cases, or thousands of cases, of things that are ridiculously priced, and phony stock promotions, and the gullible being led in to believe in things that just can’t come true.” Warren Buffett said at the 1996 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting. “So that’s always gone on. It always will go on. And it doesn’t make any difference to us.”

Hear Buffett’s full explanation

See the complete Lessons From Warren Buffett series

© 2021 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Intero Partners With Sunnova to Provide Solar and Storage Solutions

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Berkshire Hathaway’s Intero, a wholly owned subsidiary of HomeServices of America, Inc., has partnered with Sunnova Energy International Inc. to provide Intero clients with easy access to reliable solar and energy storage solutions.

With continued stress on the energy grid and the increased adoption of battery-powered vehicles, residents throughout the Bay Area are actively searching for reliable energy solutions. This new partnership will allow Intero agents to help their current and past clients quickly connect with Sunnova so they can receive the unrivaled service that is synonymous with Sunnova’s brand.

“At Intero, we help our agents extend their client relationship beyond the transaction,” said Scott Chase, Chief Operating Officer of Intero. “Our goal is to provide partnerships that differentiate our agents from the competition and improve the client experience. Our local power grid is old and unreliable and anyone who has lived here long enough has experienced outages. New home owners want lower energy costs, back-up battery power and EV charging. After researching this space, it became crystal clear Sunnova was the obvious choice to help us deliver on these concerns.”

“California is a key market for Sunnova, and we look forward to providing Intero’s clients with a convenient clean energy service that can improve the value of their home and help power their energy independence,” said Michael Grasso, Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing and Growth Officer at Sunnova. “With continued blackouts and brownouts due to wildfires in California, now more than ever before new homeowners need reliable and resilient energy services to live life uninterrupted.”

Sunnova can help Intero clients with the following services:

• Home Solar
• Home Solar + Battery Storage
• Home Solar + EV Charger
• Add-on Battery Storage
• Home Solar Protection

© 2021 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Announces Two Promotions in UK

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance has promoted Chris Warrior to Head of Executive & Professional Lines in the UK, and named Jessica Kirby as Head of Commercial Management Liability Insurance in the UK.

“BHSI has a rigorous recruiting process that enables us to build our global team with individuals who possess both exceptional capabilities and strong character,” said Vanessa Maxwell, Country Manager, UK, BHSI. “And with our deep bench of talent, we are pleased to be able to give our teammates excellent opportunities to advance in our nimble and always growing organization. I look forward to seeing all that Chris and Jess will achieve for BHSI and our E&P lines customers in their new roles.”

Chris joined BHSI in 2019 as Head of Management Liability for the UK and Ireland. In his new role, he will oversee BHSI’s UK team and portfolio across all Executive & Professional Lines, including Management Liability as well as Professional Indemnity, Cyber and Transactional Liability Insurance. Chris has nearly two decades of experience underwriting in the UK marketplace.

Jess Joined BHSI in 2018 as Senior Underwriter, Commercial D&O. In her new role as Head of Commercial Management Liability for the UK, she will oversee the team and portfolio she has played a critical role in building for BHSI in the UK. Jess has nearly 15 years of experience in the UK Financial Lines market.

© 2021 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Berkshire-Backed BYD’s HAN EV Enters Dominican Republic

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Berkshire Hathaway-backed BYD has announced that its flagship NEV sedan, the Han, has debuted in the Dominican Republic.

The BYD Han has already arrived in Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Uruguay, Costa Rica, and the Bahamas. The official launching in the Dominican Republic sets another important milestone for BYD in the LATAM and the Caribbean passenger vehicle market.

As the world’s first mass-produced model that applied BYD’s ultra-safe Blade Battery, the HAN EV can achieve 0-100km/h acceleration in 3.9 seconds. The intelligent electric high performance AWD HAN EV boasts a range of up to 550 km(NEDC test cycle) with a drag coefficient of 0.233 Cd which can reduce power consumption while improving driving range.

Nelson Peña, President of Peravia Motors S.A. says, “People’s preference for fuel vehicles is one of the main reasons for global warming. This is why we want to provide new energy solutions and always abide by the highest standards for technologies, safety, and warranties.”

“BYD is one of the most valuable NEV brands in the world and it plays a key role in the EV market. Therefore, we decided to introduce BYD EVs into the Dominican market,” says Sebastián Peña, BYD Brand Leader and Business Director in Peravia Motors S.A..

To protect the forests and ocean in this country, the Dominican government issued Decree 103-13 in 2013, which declares that the customs duties and value-added taxes on electric vehicles will be reduced to 50% of that of the fuel vehicles for the development of clean energy.

About BYD

BYD and Berkshire Hathaway

In 2008, Berkshire Hathaway bet on BYD’s potential, purchasing 225 million shares for $232 million. It’s an investment that has paid off handsomely. Berkshire’s original investment of $232 million had grown in value to $5.897 billion as of December 31, 2020.

© 2021 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway and BYD, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell a stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Lessons From Warren Buffett: Study Folly

Warren Buffett has learned a lot over the years from studying the mistakes that other people have made. In fact, he and Charlie Munger are students in the study of folly.

“In terms of reading of financial history and all that sort of thing, I’ve always been absolutely absorbed with reading about disasters,” Warren Buffett said at the 2012 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting. “And there’s no question. I mean, when you look at the folly of humans — you know, I’ve focused on the folly in the financial area — there’s all kinds of folly elsewhere — but just the financial area will give you plenty of material if you like to be a follower of folly. And I do think that understanding, and that’s what gave us some advantage over these people that have IQs of 180, you know, and can do things with math that we couldn’t do. They just, they really just didn’t have an understanding of how human beings behave and what happens. 2008 was a good example of that, too. So, we’ve, we have been a student of other people’s folly, and it’s served us well.”

Hear Buffett’s full explanation

See the complete Lessons From Warren Buffett series

© 2021 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Berkshire-Backed Paytm Tumbles on IPO Debut

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Berkshire Hathaway-backed mobile payment company Paytm fell 26 percent in its stock market debut on Thursday, with intraday trading sending the stock down as much as 28 percent from its issue price.

Paytm is India’s largest mobile payments and commerce platform, and its IPO was touted as India’s largest to date.

The IPO had been projected to be at a valuation of between $24 billion to $25 billion with the company raising around $2.3 billion.

Founded in 2009, Paytm is an Indian e-commerce payment system and financial technology company, based in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India.

In 2018, Berkshire Hathaway made a $356 million investment for a 3-4% stake in One97 Communications Ltd, the parent of Paytm.

In addition to Berkshire Hathaway, China’s Alibaba and Japan’s SoftBank are also stakeholders.

The investment was made by Berkshire portfolio manager Todd Combs, who said at the time, “I have been impressed by Paytm and am excited about being a part of its growth story, as it looks to transform payments and financial services in India.”

“Berkshire’s experience in financial services, and long-term investment horizon is going to be a huge advantage in Paytm’s journey of bringing 500 million Indians to the mainstream economy through financial inclusion,” Paytm’s founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma said in 2018.

© 2021 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Forest River Expanding in Noble County and Adding Hundreds of Jobs

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Berkshire Hathaway’s Forest River is expanding in Noble County, Indiana with the purchase of three buildings to house its IBEX Travel Trailer production, parts and service center. The facility will encompass 160,000 square feet in the Ligonier Industrial Park.

Forest River will also hire 500 employees over the next three years to work at the facility.

In addition, Forest River plans to spend $4.4 million for 65 acres in the industrial park to build three 95,000-square-foot buildings.

“I could not be prouder to welcome Forest River’s expansions in Ligonier,” said Ligonier Mayor Patty Fisel. “We know our workforce is a great fit for them and that they are a great employer. It is never easy to see jobs lost, as we did when Vibracoustic pulled out last year. This is a great transition and opportunity for us to keep our people working and the community growing.”

The city of Ligonier will consider a 10-year tax abatement on real property and personal property investments, as part of the incentives offered to Forest River. Other incentives that have already been announced, include the Ligonier Industrial Development Corp.’s agreement to invest in site preparation, and the Noble County Economic Development Corp. may invest in an additional access point to the facility.

© 2021 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell a stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

Lessons From Warren Buffett: There Are More Banks Than Bankers

There are lots of banks and they shouldn’t be treated the same when it comes to investing in the banking sector. Warren Buffett notes that there are lots of banks, and there are more banks than good bank management.

“We’ve also seen all kinds of banks ruined. I think it was, what was the fellow? M.A. Schapiro, who came up with the statement, he said, ‘There are more banks than bankers,’” Warren Buffett said at the 2002 Berkshire Hathaway Annual Meeting, quoting investment banker Morris Schapiro. “And if you think about that a bit, you’ll see what I mean. There have been a lot of people that have run banks in a very injudicious manner, but that’s made for opportunities for other people.”

Hear Buffett’s full explanation

See the complete Lessons From Warren Buffett series

© 2021 David Mazor

Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Opens Office in Frankfurt

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance has expanded in Germany, opening a new office in Frankfurt. The company already has offices in Cologne and Munich.

“BHSI is committed to building long-term relationships by providing sustainable technical underwriting solutions and excellent service,” said Andreas Krause, Country Manager, Germany. “Being close to our customers in the important financial center of Frankfurt will advance these efforts and is especially important now, with our team and our insurance portfolio growing so substantially in Germany.”

Underwriters from across all product lines, including property, casualty, and executive & professional lines, as well as BHSI risk engineers, will be based in Frankfurt.

© 2021 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.