Tags: warren buffett | byd | china | auto

Buffett-backed Chinese CarMaker BYD Loses $1 Billion in Market Value

Thursday, 18 December 2014 12:45 PM

Shares in Warren Buffett-backed BYD Co. Ltd. posted their biggest-ever single-day drop in Hong Kong on Thursday, wiping $1.2 billion from the Chinese car maker's market value and prompting it to hold emergency analyst calls.

Various rumors swirled in the market but analysts said it was unclear what exactly drove the shares to their lowest close since June 2013.

Shares of BYD, best known for making electric vehicles and 9.1 percent owned by Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Energy Holdings Co., ended down 28.8 percent at HK$25.05 in record trading volume, after falling up to 47 percent in afternoon trade.

It was the biggest one-day percentage fall since the company's Hong Kong listing in 2002.

BYD's Shenzhen-listed shares fell the maximum 10 percent, leading to a loss of about $1 billion in market capitalization.

BYD said in a statement to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange that the company "is not aware of reasons for such movement or of any information."

Around 252.7 million BYD Hong Kong shares changed hands, more than 50 times the 90-day average.

BYD held a call with analysts after market close but a spokesman declined to comment on what was discussed. There was confusion among analysts about the timing of the calls, with several of them saying they were unable to dial in.

A BYD spokeswoman, when asked about Buffett's holding in the company, said the firm was not aware of any share sales by the U.S. investor. BYD's business operations are normal, she said.

BYD said in a statement to the Shenzhen stock exchange later on Thursday its exposure to Russia was insignificant, unlike rivals such as Geely Automobile.

BYD's export sales to Russia were less than $1 million and therefore, it did not suffer foreign exchange losses, it said in the statement.

Shares of Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd. fell 17 percent on Wednesday, its steepest one-day drop in 12 years, after the Chinese automaker said 2014 profit may halve due to slumping exports and currency losses from operations in Russia - its biggest overseas market.

Geely shares ended down 3.1 percent on Thursday.

BYD, which has a joint venture with German premium car maker Daimler AG to make electric cars, and other Chinese car makers have been losing market share to foreign rivals in an increasingly competitive auto market in China.

BYD did not see a fall in electric vehicle orders and orders and output of electric cars remain good, it said in the statement.

© 2019 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

   
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Shares in Warren Buffett-backed BYD Co. Ltd. posted their biggest-ever single-day drop in Hong Kong on Thursday, wiping $1.2 billion from the Chinese car maker's market value and prompting it to hold emergency analyst calls.
warren buffett, byd, china, auto
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2014-45-18
Thursday, 18 December 2014 12:45 PM
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