Warren Buffett says Berkshire buying own stock, more Apple

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One97 Communications, which owns India's largest payments player Paytm, confirmed the investment by Berkshire Hathaway in the company on Tuesday adding that it is an "endorsement from world's most respected investor for Paytm's journey, and India's long-term growth story".

The companies did not disclose the details of the deal including the stake size or the amount invested by the US-based Berkshire.

Berkshire Hathaway Inc has picked up a Rs 25 billion stake in the parent of digital payments firm Paytm, a source said, its first investment in an Indian startup as it forays into the financial payments sector.

Paytm, founded by Vijay Shekhar Sharma in 2010, counts China's Alibaba Group and its financial services arm Ant Financial Services Group among its investors.

Earlier this year, billionaire Warren Buffett bought a boatload of Apple Inc shares and suggested he would buy even more shares at the right price.

For example, an investor can buy a duplex and rent out property and "do fine over time", or purchase a bond and collect a 3-percent yield, Buffett said.

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"They've got to keep having the product that this huge clientele regards as indispensable", Buffett said.

It will also add more muscle to Paytm's operations as it competes against rivals like PhonePe and Google's Tez. The competition in the space is set to intensify further when WhatsApp launches its payments services in the Indian market.

Buffett famously doesn't use a smartphone, preferring an old flip phone, but recognises how important it is in other people's day-to-day lives.

Paytm has been one of the prominent beneficiaries of the governments move in November 2016 to scrap high denomination notes.

Since then, Paytm's platform has seen manifold growth in transactions as well as expansion in number of users. That investment would value Paytm at about $7 billion.

The company crossed an annual gross transaction run-rate of United States dollars 29 billion in May this year. The Paytm founder has also started e-commerce business under Paytm Mall that competes with giants like Amazon and Walmart-backed Flipkart.

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