Billionaire Warren Buffett is giving five charities more than $US2.6 billion ($A2.86 billion) worth of Berkshire Hathaway Inc stock as part of his overall plan to give away his fortune gradually.
Buffett announced the annual gifts on Monday. The biggest block of Class B shares of Berkshire stock worth $US2 billion is going to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Buffett also gave 1.75 million shares to his own foundation and 1.2 million shares to each of his three children's foundations. The Class B shares were up 46 US cents at $US115.42 in midday trading on Monday.
Last year, Buffett announced plans to double the amount of stock he gives to his children's foundations because he has been pleased with the work they've done.
The chairman and chief executive of Berkshire outlined his charitable plans in 2006 and has been making annual gifts since then.