THE LEX COLUMN: Warren Buffett, saviour of dwindling firms
Warren Buffett is becoming the go-to guy for financial services firms around the world
Warren Buffett is becoming the go-to guy for financial services firms around the world that find themselves in a spot of bother. In 2017, the Sage of Omaha rescued Canada’s Home Capital, a stricken mortgage lender. Now his investment vehicle, Berkshire Hathaway, has been linked to a 10% stake in Kotak Mahindra, the third-biggest Indian bank by market capitalisation. The bank’s Mumbai-listed shares leapt 8% on Friday, the most in five years. A deal could be an elegant solution to a tricky stand-off. Uday Kotak, founder and executive vice-chairman, faces a year-end deadline to reduce his near-30% stake in the bank to less than 20%. The timeline has been set by the Reserve Bank of India, which remains determined to see more diversified ownership. Despite Kotak Mahindra’s dizzying valuation — 4.5 times its book value, almost five times the sector average — holding a chunk could appeal to Berkshire, which recently invested in Paytm, India’s leading mobile payments company. The RBI’s posi...