CORRECTED - CORRECTED-UPDATE 2-Berkshire loses top rating on investments, Bu

viernes 13 de marzo de 2009 08:54 CET

(Corrects Buffett's previous wealth figure to $62 billion from $68 billion in paragraph 3)

* Large market exposure, derivatives, cited as reason for cut

* Buffett's tight grip on Berkshire also cited as reason

* First major ratings agency to cut Berkshire's 'AAA' rating

* Cut comes after GE's top rating was cut by S&P (Recasts, adds background, byline, changes dateline)

By Muralikumar Anantharaman

SINGAPORE, March 13 (Reuters) - Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway was stripped of its 'AAA' credit rating, barely hours after General Electric Co lost its top-tier rating, as the global financial crisis pummels America's corporate titans.

Ratings agency Fitch cut Buffett's insurance and investment company by one notch to "AA-plus", citing concerns about Berkshire's (BRKa.N: Cotización) equity and derivatives investments, as well as Buffett's tight grip on the company.

The downgrade is another setback to Buffett, 78, coming a day after the billionaire lost his position as the world's richest man to Microsoft Inc (MSFT.O: Cotización) founder Bill Gates, according to Forbes' annual list. Buffett's net worth plunged to $37 billion from $62 billion last year, the list said.   Continuación...