One of the largest holding companies in the US, Berkshire Hathaway (BERK) has commented the environmental losses in their insurance operations. According to their CEO Warren Buffet, the company estimates that the three hurricanes in the US (Harvey, Irma and Maria) caused the company 3 billion dollars losses. The company also estimates that the company´s share of the big environmental damages in the US would be around 3 % in the future.
The company commented these on Saturday, when Mr Buffet also published his letter to shareholders. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria and the wildfires in California have been in the headlines when climate change and rapid urbanization are increasing the insurance companies environmental losses. In Berkshire, the insurance businesses are in Geico insurance company and in General Re reinsurer.
Last year was very good for the company, showing 23 % increase in net worth totalling 65,3 billion dollars. Nearly half of it, about 29 billion dollars, were from the new taxation gains from the president Trump administration.
Berkshire Hathaway is also showing 116 million dollars cash and according to Buffet they are searching for new purchases. – The key qualities we seak are – durable competitive strenghts, he wrote in the letter.
He did not comment the company´s big positions like Apple (about 3 %) or WellsFargo. The company made smaller acquisitions during last year and for example a company called HomeServices, a real estate brokerage company, is now the second largest in the US – and focusing on this 3 % real estate brokerage business.