Warren Buffett gives $2.9 billion to charity, lifting his total contributions to $37 billion in 14 years

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  • Warren Buffett gave around $US2.9 billion in Berkshire Hathaway Class B shares to charity this week.
  • The billionaire investor and Berkshire CEO gifted nearly 16 million shares to five philanthropic groups including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
  • Buffett has now donated more than $US37 billion worth of Class B shares since he began his annual giving plan in 2006.
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Warren Buffett gifted about $US2.9 billion worth of Class B shares in Berkshire Hathaway to charity this week, his conglomerate said on Wednesday.

The famed investor and Berkshire CEO gave nearly 16 million shares to five philanthropic groups: the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation, The Sherwood Foundation, Howard G. Buffett Foundation, and NoVo Foundation.

Buffett’s latest contributions represent the 15th instalment of his annual giving plan, which he began in June 2006 and ramped up in August 2012. He has now given away more than $US37 billion worth of Class B shares in 14 years, Berkshire said.

The Berkshire chief’s net worth stood at $US71.5 billion prior to his latest gift, making him the world’s sixth-wealthiest person,according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Buffett converts his Class A shares, which trade at about $US272,000 each, into Class B shares to make the donations. As a result, his stockpile of Class A shares has dropped by about 48% since 2006, from around 475,000 to 249,000.

Buffett has only received minor tax benefits from the contributions, Berkshire said. They have reduced the combined Federal and Nebraska income taxes he has paid by about 43 cents for each $US1,000 he has given.

The investor expects that all of the Berkshire shares he still owns at the time of his death will be distributed to philanthropic organisations over the following 12 years.

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