Berkshire Hathaway more than doubled its stake in Apple after the end of 2016 to more than $18bn, chief executive Warren Buffett said on Monday.

The so-called Oracle of Omaha said on CNBC television that Berkshire holds about 133m Apple shares. That represents a sharp increase from the 61.2m that the investment group, which has holdings stretching from Wells Fargo to Coca-Cola, reported as of December 31 2016.

Mr Buffett said that Berkshire had stopped buying Apple shares after the technology group reported its quarterly earnings at the end of January given the increase in the company’s stock price. Apple shares have climbed 12.6 per cent since then and are up by 41.3 per cent over the past 12 months.

The 86-year old investor released his eagerly-awaited annual letter over the weekend, in which he suggested Berkshire may begin to more actively trade its large public equities portfolio.

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