June 28 (Reuters) - Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc may be on the verge of becoming Bank of America Corp’s largest shareholder, after the bank raised its dividend in the wake of a positive assessment of its ability to handle market stresses.
Bank of America on Wednesday boosted its annual dividend 60 percent to 48 cents per share from 30 cents, beginning in the third quarter.
Buffett has said a boost of that size would likely prompt him to swap Berkshire’s preferred shares in the second-largest bank into common shares now worth about $16.7 billion.
Such an exchange would made Berkshire the largest shareholder of both Bank of America and Wells Fargo & Co , the third-largest U.S. bank, and more than triple a $5 billion investment made fewer than six years ago.
It would also signal Buffett’s confidence in Brian Moynihan, Bank of America’s chief executive.
Berkshire did not immediately respond to requests for comment. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Sandra Maler)