By Jonathan Stempel
(Reuters) – Daily Journal Corp, the publishing and software company where Warren Buffett’s business partner Charlie Munger helps oversee investments and until recently was chairman, on Monday said it halved its investment in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.
In a regulatory filing, the Los Angeles-based company said it owned 300,000 of Alibaba’s American depositary shares (“ADS”)worth $32.6 million as of March 31, down from 602,060 shares at the end of 2021.
The reduction essentially reversed Daily Journal’s trading activity in last year’s fourth quarter, when its Alibaba stake nearly doubled in size.
The price of Alibaba’s ADS has fallen 15% this year, and 68% from its October 2020 peak.
Daily Journal did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The company publishes newspapers and provides software to courthouses.
Munger, 98, had been Daily Journal’s chairman for 45 years before stepping down last month.
Daily Journal said he would remain a director and focus on matters he has worked on, including its securities portfolio. Munger is better known for his work at Berkshire, where he has been vice chairman since 1978 and helps the 91-year-old Buffett allocate capital.
Long bullish on China, Munger spearheaded Berkshire’s approximately 7% stake in electric car maker BYD Co.
At Daily Journal’s annual meeting in February, Munger lamented recent deterioration in relations between the United States and China.
“They should like us and we should like them,” he said.
Most of the rest of Daily Journal’s securities portfolio is in Bank of America Corp, which is also a major Berkshire investment, and Wells Fargo & Co.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Bernard Orr)