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Warren Buffett boosts Occidental Petroleum stake to 20.9%

In today’s top stories, Berkshire Hathaway adds to its Occidental Petroleum stake, Altimeter Capital’s Brad Gerstner asks Mark Zuckerberg to cap annual metaverse investments and carbon credits emerge as a focus during COP27. Meanwhile, Blibli is Indonesia’s second biggest IPO of 2022 and Alibaba expands in South Korea.

Buffett pumps more into Occidental Petroleum

Berkshire Hathaway [BRK-A] suffered a $10.1bn net loss on its investments in the third quarter. Warren Buffett continued to dip-buy Occidental Petroleum [OXY] in the three months to the end of September – the share price is up 163.7% year-to-date – taking his stake to 20.9%. The firm spent $3.7bn on stocks in total. Its 13F form detailing the purchases for the quarter will be released later this month.

US carbon credits plan

COP27, this year’s edition of the United Nations’ climate conference, is currently underway in Sharm el- Sheikh, Egypt. Carbon credits are in focus with US climate envoy John Kerry laying out plans to sell carbon credits to some of the world’s largest companies, according to Bloomberg. The proceeds would be used to fund clean energy projects. The iShares Global Clean Energy ETF [ICLN] has fallen 9.8% in the year-to-date.

Indonesia’s second-biggest IPO of 2022

Indonesia ecommerce firm Blibli [BELI.JK] gained 4.9% after debuting on the Indonesian stock market on Tuesday, making it this year’s second-largest initial public offering this year in the country with a valuation at 8trn rupia (£445.6m). The largest IPO was rival GoTo Group [GOTO.JK] which went public in April after the merger of two of the country’s startups. The GoTo share price is down 51.4% from its launch price on 11 April.

Alibaba taps Korea ecommerce growth

Chinese ecommerce behemoth Alibaba [BABA] is down 49% year-to-date, but its international arm AliExpress is bullish on the online shopping industry in Korea, where it has spent 10bn won (£6.3m) to “make sure we have the best pricing,” Gary Topp, AliExpress’ European commercial and marketing director, told CNBC. As of September, AliExpress had 2.72 million monthly active users in Korea.

Recession proof picks

Investors are divided over whether the current market rally will fade, but James Demmert, chief investment officer of Main Street Research, believes the bear market is in its “third and final phase”. Speaking to CNBC, Demmert said investors need to be wary of ongoing macro challenges but should look to buy “recession proof” stocks that will do well when the economy bounces. His top picks include Procter & Gamble [PG] and T-Mobile [TMUS].

Meta’s metaverse problems

Mark Zuckerberg has been doubling down on his vision, despite Meta’s [META] Reality Labs unit posting a wider loss of $3.7bn in the third quarter. Shareholders are clearly unhappy as they’ve dragged the share price down 27.5% in the past month. Brad Gerstner, founder of Altimeter Capital which owns 2.5m shares, has written an open letter in which he has called for a $5bn cap on annual metaverse expenditure.

Heightened calls for windfall taxes

The UK’s oil and gas giants have been celebrating bumper profits recently, while high energy costs continue to supercharge inflation and energy bills. Recent earnings have added fuel to calls for changes to windfall taxes, which Shell [SHEL.L] has managed to avoid due to investments in new North Sea output. The firm’s outgoing CEO Ben van Beuden recently said that oil and gas companies “have to accept [and] embrace” increased taxes given the global economic environment.

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