Wednesday, 03 March, 2021


Four SoftBank directors to leave board

The bets turned sour after the firm booked a 292 billion yen derivative loss SoftBank swings to $6bn quarterly profit - Nikkei Asia
Conrad Doyle | 12 November, 2020, 14:40

The Japanese group on Monday reported a net profit of JPY 627 billion (USD 6 billion) for the July-September quarter, after rising valuations for its tech portfolio. The profit rode on the back of a $19 billion investment gain during the quarter, part of which was due to SoftBank's Vision Fund 2 investment in Chinese online real-estate broker Beike Zhaofang, which had its successful IPO in August.

Vision Fund's $75 billion investment in 83 startups was worth $76.4 billion at the end of September, the company said in a filing.

Son declined to comment on whether he wants to take SoftBank private but said he was "thinking every day" about the pros and cons of being a listed company.

The unit reported its biggest income in the three months ended Sept 30, rebounding from a ¥612 billion (RM24.26 billion) loss a year earlier, SoftBank said in a statement yesterday. "The changes to our board build upon the enhancements we made in June including ensuring we have a greater proportion of external board directors, and further highlight SoftBank's commitment to corporate governance".

Yasir al-Rumayyan, the head of Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund-Vision Fund's largest outside investor-also resigned effective Monday.

In the six months ended September 30, SoftBank booked an investment gain of ¥2 trillion, equivalent to $19 billion, including ¥1.3 trillion from improved performance at the Vision Fund as well as its more modest successor, Vision Fund 2.

That primarily reflected a gain related the merger of portfolio firm Sprint with T-Mobile US Inc, it said. The company said its high-profile foray into public-market investing, which has given it a portfolio of tech stocks such as Amazon.com Inc. that are worth almost $17 billion, had a stumble in the quarter by losing almost $3 billion on derivatives transactions.

SoftBank has announced a record ¥2.5 trillion of re-purchases, helping its stock hit a two-decade high last month.

In September, SoftBank Group announced an agreement to sell British chip designer Arm to US firm NVIDIA for up to $40 billion, potentially creating a new giant in the industry.

He said Monday the company was "keeping all options at hand" and declined to discuss the possibility of a management buyout. SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son said the changes are aimed at separating management and operations at the Japanese conglomerate, which is increasingly focusing on investments rather than managing its own companies. "That hasn't changed even for a day since I founded it".

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