The most expensive lunch date ever turned into an even larger windfall for Chinese businessman Zhao Dayang.
Just a day before his lunch date with Warren Buffet, Mr. Zhao told the media that he would mention a little known Chinese company, WuMart, to Warren Buffet during their lunch meeting.
According to The New York Times
, "Even before Mr. Zhao arrived for lunch, shares of WuMart were climbing. By the time he returned to China, the shares were about 25 percent higher and Mr. Zhao’s stock holdings in WuMart (which he insists will some day be China’s Wal-Mart) were worth about $16 million more."
Mr. Zhao claims that he invests for the long-run and was not trying to intentionally influence the market.
“I didn’t want to influence the market,” Mr. Zhao said
. “It was just a tip from a friend.”
Despite these remarks, he has come under criticism from many in China. One blogger said
that Mr. Zhao was "very smart at manipulating the media."
Zhao is the general manager of Pureheart Asset Management, an investment management company in China.
Zhao has been described
as "a refreshingly frank and down-to-earth figure in an industry still dominated by overseas-educated princelings and the politically connected elite."
Last year the charity lunch was auctioned for $650,000 and was won by value investors Mohnish Pabrai and Guy Spier.