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Warren Buffett donates US$3.6b of stock to five foundations

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Warren Buffett agreed to donate US$3.6 billion worth of Berkshire Hathaway Inc stock to five charities, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in his latest disposal since making a pledge to give the shares away.

[NEW YORK] Warren Buffett agreed to donate US$3.6 billion worth of Berkshire Hathaway Inc stock to five charities, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, in his latest disposal since making a pledge to give the shares away.

That brings the total amount of stock he's given the foundations to about US$34 billion since he made the pledge in 2006, according to a statement Monday. The recipient foundations also include charities named for his late wife and ones run by his children.

Mr Buffett has spent more than five decades crafting Berkshire Hathaway into a company with a market value of more than half a trillion dollars, spanning industries from insurance to manufacturing. Its success once made him the world's richest man, though he has fallen back to fourth place as he steadily gives his fortune away.

The original 2006 plan was later modified, and envisages posthumously donating all of the Berkshire stock within a decade after his estate is settled.

The billionaire investor has long supported the Gateses' charitable endeavors, and said in 2006 that he aimed for the stock donations to ramp up their foundation's "already impressive effectiveness" addressing societal problems. Mr Buffett is also giving stock to the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, Sherwood Foundation, Howard G Buffett Foundation and NoVo Foundation.

BLOOMBERG