As of 4th May 2012 (4:01pm EDT/ 8:01pm GMT), a class A share of Berkshire Hathaway was quoted at $121,950. That is KES 10.15 million using the Kenya Shilling-US dollar exchange rate on Monday (7th May 2012) morning. The company has 40,000 shareholders of all ages and from all over the world and they meet each year in Omaha, Nebraska in the United States for their Annual General Meetings. The city is also Warren Buffet’s home city- that is why he is tagged the “Oracle of Omaha.” In case you don’t know, Warren Buffet is one of the world’s richest men, a constant member of the world’s top-three billionaire list in addition to Carlos Slim and Microsoft founder William “Bill” Gates.
Berkshire Hathaway is a holding company that manages several subsidiaries such as GEICO and several other insurance companies, MidAmerican Energy Holdings Company that deals in energy and other utilities, several clothing companies, building product companies such as Acme Building Brands and many others. Though Buffet is not the founder, he has orchestrated the conglomerate’s fortunes from a mediocre company in the 60s to become one of the biggest companies in the world with over 250,000 employees and $144 billion in revenues. About 12 trillion Kenya shillings, 9 times the Kenya national budget.
For one class A share in Berkshire Hathaway, you could buy a brand new Mercedes Benz E300 inclusive of import duty, excise duty, VAT and IDF which comes to around 77,421 Euros which is about KES 8.44 million. For a single class A share, you could buy the car of your dreams, and have a loose KES 1.6 million shillings to buy a “standard” type house in the Kisaju (View Park) Estate. If you had KES 10.15 million shillings, you could spend KES 3,000 shillings every day for 9 years before spending it all. Or you could ofcourse buy one class A share of Berkshire Hathaway. You could do many things. What would you do?
~ The class A Berkshire Hathaway share has never been split or given out dividends and because of their high value, the shares are very illiquid.