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Buffett tells Fox Business he wants a company in Europe
[NEW YORK] Billionaire investor Warren Buffett said on Wednesday he is likely to buy a small business in Western Europe and he would like to buy more businesses abroad. "We'd like to buy more businesses around the world," Buffett, the head of conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway Inc, said in an interview with Fox Business Network.
Over the past 50 years, Berkshire has bought dozens of companies in sectors ranging from insurance to railroads.
Buffett's purchases have largely focused on the United States. In his letter to shareholders last year, for example, he wrote that "the mother lode of opportunity resides in America." With growth in the world's largest economy outpacing many developed markets and valuations moving higher, Buffett has also in recent years noted the difficulty in finding so-called elephants - acquisitions large enough to move the needle at Berkshire Hathaway.
Buffett also believes the US Federal Reserve will find it difficult to raise interest rates this year. "I think it's going to be very tough to raise rates when you've got what's going on around the world," he said.
The Fed is now weighing what would be its first interest rate increase since 2006, but low US inflation and sluggish growth around the world could constrain the central bank from changing policy.
Yields on US Treasuries remain low by historical standards, with the 10-year Treasury note yielding 1.75 per cent on Wednesday and the 30-year Treasury bond yielding 2.346 per cent.
Despite expectations that yields would rise last year, they in fact dipped further - and have continued their slide this year.
Buffett said the "last asset" he would want to buy is a 30-year government bond.
Buffett also briefly discussed the 2016 presidential election, saying he would "100 per cent" support Democrat Hillary Clinton if she ran for the office.
Buffett was joined by Tony Nicely, the chief executive of Berkshire-owned insurer Geico, for part of the interview.
Nicely said Geico is working to roll out products linked to ride service Uber. "We want to insure Uber drivers," he added.