Warren Buffett to encourage investing in Israel bonds

Berkshire Hathaway chairman and CEO Warren Buffett talks with a reporter before the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting in Omaha, Nebraska, U.S. May 6, 2017. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Billionaire investor Warren Buffett will travel to New York this week to help Israel sell government bonds, the underwriting agency for the bonds said on Monday.

Development Corporation for Israel, which underwrites the bonds in the United States and is commonly known as Israel Bonds, said Buffett will meet privately on Thursday with U.S., Canadian, Mexican and Brazilian investors who have each signaled plans to buy between $1 million and $5 million of the bonds.

It said a similar event held in November in Omaha, Nebraska, where Buffett runs Berkshire Hathaway Inc BRKa.N, raised more than $60 million, and the New York event could raise an additional $140 million.

The event will include a luncheon with Larry Silverstein, who helped found Silverstein Properties and is the developer of the One World Trade Center site in Manhattan.

Buffett owns $5 million of Israeli bonds in his personal portfolio, Israel Bonds said.

“The purchase of Israel bonds is a sound investment and a deserved endorsement of a remarkable country,” Buffett said in a statement provided by Israel Bonds.

Berkshire has owned Israeli toolmaker Iscar since 2006, when it paid $4 billion for an 80 percent stake. It bought the rest for $2.05 billion in 2013.

The conglomerate, which has more than 90 business units, has also owned Israeli bonds since acquiring the workers’ compensation insurer Guard Insurance in 2012, Israel Bonds said.

(This version of the story corrects paragraphs 1 and 6 to reflect that Israel Bonds is an underwriting agency)

Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Bill Trott