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Warren Buffett: Walmart 'May Well Have Made A Mistake'

Reuters  |  Posted: 05/06/2012 12:39 pm Updated: 05/07/2012 6:30 am

Warren Buffett

OMAHA, Neb., May 5 (Reuters) - Warren Buffett on Saturday told Berkshire Hathaway Inc shareholders that he has not changed his opinion about Wal-Mart Stores Inc or its earnings power, but that the world's largest retailer "may well have made a mistake" in handling a Mexico bribery scandal.

Wal-Mart is one of Berkshire's largest common stock holdings. As of Dec. 31, Berkshire's 39.04 million share stake in the retailer was worth about $2.33 billion.

Last month, the New York Times reported that Wal-Mart de Mexico, which is 69 percent owned by Wal-Mart, in the last decade orchestrated a widespread bribery campaign to win market dominance, and that senior Wal-Mart executives knew about the matter and tried to cover it up.

If the allegations are true, then Wal-mart may have violated the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which forbids bribes to foreign government officials.

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Filed by Maxwell Strachan  |