Monday, February 28, 2011

Warren Buffett’s 2011 shareholder letter

Last week, the news media's Most Favorite Billionaire issued his 2011 shareholder letter to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders.

Always a favorite read with those with time on their hands, Warren Buffett predicted “a general business climate somewhat better than that of 2010, but weaker than that of 2005 or 2006.” What that really means is anyone's guess.

Berkshire’s per share book value increased by 13% in 2010.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Carlos Slim put Mexico on ad diet

Billionaire pulls ad coin from Televisa
Web could lose millions in lost revenue

Mexico City-- Mexico's no. 1 broadcaster Televisa announced late Friday that the world's richest man was pulling his ad dollars, potentially costing the web tens of millions per month.

According to Televisa veep Alfonso de Angoitia, the loss of business generated by ad sales to companies owned by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim is shrinking revenue for it core broadcasting business by 4%.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Eddie Lampert is bullish on Gap - takes a 5.8% stake

The hedge fund of billionaire investor Eddie Lampert has taken a 5.8% stake in Gap (GPS) - it has been announced this week - which operates the Old Navy and Banana Republic retail chains and websites, as well as the Gap.

Citigroup Global Markets upgraded shares of Gap to Hold from Sell today and raised its price target to $25.

Edward Lampert is the chairman of Sears Holding Corp.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Steve Wynn, Monaco and new citizenship

According to the Wall Street Journal, billionaire casino operator Steve Wynn has received Monegasque citizenship.

WSJ article

$100 Million gift to the OSU Medical Center by Les Wexner

Ohio State University is about to receive the largest gift in its history.

Leslie H. Wexner, his wife and the foundation of the company he founded will donate $100 million to the university in what OSU President E. Gordon Gee calls "a transformative moment" for the school.


Monday, February 14, 2011

Russian billionaires are coming back strong

According to the annual rankings of the richest Russians published by Finans magazine, Russia now has 114 billionaires.

Vladimir Lisin (picture left) tops the list with a net worth of $28 billion. He is described as "the low profile chairman" of NLMK Steel.

Second on the list is Mikhail Prokhorov with a $22 billion net worth. Avid readers of the Think Billions blog will know Mikhail as the new hapless owner of the New Jersey Nets with their even more hapless attempt at landing Carmelo Anthony. Regardless of the management and basketball strategies of the New Jersey Nets, Prokhorov has tripled his net worth over the last three years.

Third on the list is Alisher Usmanov of Metalloinvest another metals company. He is also a shareholder in the Arsenal Football Club.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Hosni Mubarak, Billionaire

How Hosni Mubarak Got So Rich

There are no Mubaraks on the Forbes list of the world's richest people, but there sure ought to be.

The mounting pressure from 18 days of historic protests finally drove Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak from office, after three decades as his nation's iron-fisted ruler. But over that time, Mubarak amassed a fortune that should finance a pretty comfortable retirement. The British Guardian newspaper cites Middle Eastern sources placing the wealth of Mubarak and his family at somewhere between $40 billion and $70 billion. That's a pretty good pension for government work. The world's richest man--Mexican business magnate Carlos Slim--is worth about $54 billion, by comparison. Bill Gates is close behind, with a net worth of about $53 billion.