BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY INC.
|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||February 3, 1998|
Because of recent price movements in the silver market and because Berkshire Hathaway has
received inquiries about its ownership of the metal, the company is releasing certain information
that it would normally have published next month in its annual report.
The company owns 129,710,000 ounces of silver. Its first purchase was made on July 25, 1997
and its most recent purchase was made on January 12, 1998.
During 1998, Berkshire has accepted delivery of 87,510,000 ounces in accordance with the terms
of the purchase contracts and the remaining contracts for 42,200,000 ounces call for delivery at
varied dates until March 6, 1998. To date, all deliveries have been made on schedule. If any
seller should have trouble making timely delivery, Berkshire is willing to defer delivery for a
reasonable period upon payment of a modest fee.
Over 30 years ago, Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, made his first purchase of
silver in anticipation of the metal's demonetization by the U.S. Government. Since that time he
has followed silver's fundamentals but no entity he manages has owned it. In recent years,
widely-published reports have shown that bullion inventories have fallen very materially,
because of an excess of user-demand over mine production and reclamation. Therefore, last
summer Mr. Buffett and Mr. Munger, Vice Chairman of Berkshire, concluded that equilibrium
between supply and demand was only likely to be established by a somewhat higher price.
All metal was purchased for London delivery through a single brokerage firm. No options have
been or are held by Berkshire. No purchases have been made that established new highs for the
metal and all buying has been after dips. Berkshire has had no knowledge of the actions or
positions of any other market participant and today has no such knowledge.
Berkshire has no present plans for purchase or sale of silver. The position at cost comprises less
than 2% of the company's investment portfolio.