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Warren Buffett Eyes Building Products Sector

November 29, 2000
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Sydney, Australia (Reuters) -- Shares in building products group James Hardie Industries Ltd, which earns most of its money in the United States, jumped on Wednesday on news that billionaire Warren Buffett was a buyer of the sector. Hardie shot as much as 14 cents, or four percent, higher to A$3.62, although in scant turnover of some 54,000 shares. Brokers said buying of Hardie stemmed in part from news that Berkshire Hathaway Inc, the investment vehicle of billionaire investor Buffett, bought a 14.98 percent stake in USG Corp, a large supplier of gypsum wallboard.

Hardie said on Tuesday it would spend US$24 million (A$45.7 million) to double capacity at its new fibre cement plant in Peru, Illinois.

Brokers said institutions are enamoured of Hardie's growth strategy, which hinges on fast-tracking expansion of its capacity to make fibre-cement products.

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