Berkshire Hathaway's annual meeting 2024 was held in Omaha, U.S., over the weekend in which its chairman Warren Buffett shared his opinions on growth opportunities in India, his capital allocation decisions, AI as the next big "growth industry", and reasons why Berkshire reduced its stake in Apple.

Buffett was joined by vice chairmen Greg Abel and Ajit Jain to address queries of 18,000 investors who attended the much-sought-after event. During the event, Buffett remembered his long-time partner Charlie Munger, who passed away at the age of 99 last year.

The 93-year-old American businessman, known as the “Oracle of Omaha”, also spoke about the opportunity for investment in the Indian equity market. Asked if Berkshire Hathaway was looking at investment opportunities in Indian markets, Buffett answered there were several opportunities in India, but his company was not the one to tap into those. "The question is whether Berkshire has an advantage or insights into those businesses...There may be an explored or attended-to opportunity in that area...I am not the one to it."

The mega-billionaire told the investors that his successor Greg Abel would be responsible for taking the calls on key investment decisions, including the company's stock portfolio. “I think the responsibility ought to be entirely with Greg...," he says, adding that Abel would take the CEO decisions.

When asked about his views on artificial intelligence, Buffett, who as per Bloomberg Billionaire Index is worth USD 132 billion, said AI scamming could be the next big thing to look at. He said he doesn't know much about AI but recent encounters with his AI-generated images made him wary.

"Scamming has always been a part of the American scene, but this would make me, if I was interested in investing in scamming, it's going to the growth industry of all time," he adds.

Speaking about his company's decision to reduce its stake in smartphone manufacturer Apple Inc, Buffett says the decision was taken for “tax reasons” after clocking significant profit on the investment. He said the company will remain one of the three major investments for Berkshire, including American Express and Coca-Cola. “Unless something extraordinary happens, we will own Apple and American Express and Coca-Cola," he opined.

Berkshire had cut a 13% stake in Apple in the first quarter, marking the second quarter in a row when the company pared its stake in the Cupertino, U.S.-based tech behemoth. In Q1 2024, Berkshire sold 116 million shares of Apple, while it divested around 100 million in Q4 2023. However, despite slashing the stake, Apple remains Berkshire's biggest bet at $135.4 billion.

Berkshire Hathaway, in its first financial quarter, also reported its Q1 2024 financials, clocking a 39% increase in its operating profit at $11.22 billion against $8.07 billion a year earlier. The multinational company's income, however, fell to $12.7 billion in said quarter compared to $35.5 billion in the year-ago period on large unrealised gains from its stocks.

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