NEW YORK — The firm controlled by famed investor Warren Buffett has increased its stake in American Express Co. to 9.8% since Dec. 31, the giant charge card company said Tuesday.
Berkshire Hathaway Inc., the Omaha, Neb.-based investment company run by Buffett, one of the nation's wealthiest men, and its subsidiaries have purchased 20.7 million shares of American Express since the start of the year, bringing their combined holdings to 48.5 million shares as of Monday.
The purchases were revealed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, New York-based American Express said.
News of the increased stake sent American Express shares higher on the New York Stock Exchange, closing up $1.375 at $33.50.
"Mr. Buffett has advised us that the purchases are for investment purposes," the company said. "He noted that Berkshire Hathaway intends to seek regulatory approval to increase its investment in American Express beyond the 10% of common shares outstanding."
Debbie Bosanek, Buffet's assistant, said: "We have read American Express' statement and we agree with it."
Berkshire Hathaway owns big stakes in other large corporations, including Capital Cities/ABC Inc., Coca-Cola Co. and Wells Fargo & Co.