Page last updated at 04:03 GMT, Saturday, 27 June 2009 05:03 UK

One-fifth off for Buffett lunch

Warren Buffett
Mr Buffett dines in a steakhouse with the winner

A chance to have lunch with investor Warren Buffett has been sold for $1.68m at a charity auction - 20% down on last year's winning bid of $2.1m.

The online eBay auction saw a sudden final spurt, as in previous years, with bids rising from $810,000 in two hours.

The auction, in its 10th year, raises money for the Glide Foundation, which offers social services for San Francisco's homeless and poor.

Despite the economic downturn, this year saw the second-highest bid ever.

The winner - whose name has not yet been announced - is able to take up to seven friends to have lunch with Buffett - the world's second richest person - at Smith & Wollensky's steakhouse in New York.

Last year's winner, Hong-Kong based investor Zhao Danyang who runs the Pureheart China Investment Fund, had his lunch with Mr Buffett on Wednesday.

In May, Mr Buffett's investment firm Berkshire Hathaway saw its first loss in eight years, following a badly-timed purchase of oil stocks.

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