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Buffett says will continue to buy U.S. businesses

20/05/2008 - 14:51

By Laura MacInnis

LAUSANNE, Switzerland (Reuters) - Warren Buffett said on Tuesday he would not shy away from making acquisitions outside the United States, but he would also continue to buy U.S. companies.

"We would buy a company in any country in the world where we felt that we understood the company well enough," he told a news conference at the IMD business school in Lausanne.

Buffett stressed that he required a high degree of confidence in what a business would look like in 10 or 20 years before investing in it.

Buffett is touring Germany, Italy, Spain and Switzerland to assess opportunities for his investment company Berkshire Hathaway . He has said there are more potentially interesting companies in Europe than in emerging markets.

Asked if he was looking for buying opportunities in Europe because he was disappointed in U.S. businesses, Buffett said he expected his group to keep buying U.S. firms.

"I am not disappointed at all in the U.S.," he said. "We will probably always be present in the minds of more people in the U.S...I love buying businesses in the United States."

Buffett said the weaker dollar was not an important factor in his decision to search for business opportunities in Europe.

"I am not unhappy about buying in euros today, let's say, or Swiss francs, and earning money in euros or Swiss francs," he said. "Over time, the European currencies ... I do not worry about them depreciating against the U.S. dollar."

Buffett also said commodity prices were likely to continue to rise, but pointed out that Berkshire had no positions in raw commodities and probably never would.

(writing by Douwe Miedema; editing by Sue Thomas/Elizabeth Fullerton)


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