Warren Buffett-backed Chinese electric vehicle firm BYD saw its stock price suddenly fall sharply on July 12. At the same time, a share transfer has aroused the attention of market insiders. According to CCASS data, 225 million BYD shares were transferred to Citibank on July 11. Market insiders speculated from the transfer scale that these shares come from Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, an American multinational conglomerate.
BYD replied that while it can see an increase in Citibank’s shareholding at present, this doesn’t mean that Buffett is transferring the shares to Citibank. At present, Buffett’s shareholding has not changed. If there is any change in shareholding, the firm said a relevant disclosure will be made at the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEx).
Buffett bought 225 million shares of BYD in 2008 at a price of HK$8 per share. According to shareholder information disclosed by BYD, Western Capital LLC, which is 100% controlled by Berkshire Hathaway, is the fourth-largest shareholder in BYD, holding 225 million shares.
In July last year, Li Lu, the founder of Himalaya Capital and a shareholder of BYD for nearly 20 years, also continuously reduced his holdings in BYD, arousing great concern in the market. According to the disclosure of the HKEx, Himalaya Capital reduced its holdings in BYD for two consecutive days on July 8 and July 9, 2021, totaling 10.7715 million shares worth HK$2.439 billion.
BYD has now become a leading enterprise in China’s automobile industry. In the first half of this year, BYD’s sales broke a record high, with cumulative sales of 641,000 new energy vehicles, an increase of 314.9% year-on-year. It also exceeded market expectations in both pure electric and hybrid vehicle markets.