SoftBank first-half net profit jumps on strong investment returns

Under CEO Masayoshi Son, above, SoftBank has increasingly been seen as an investment firm, plowing funds into a broad range of companies and projects outside its core business. (AFP)
Updated 05 November 2018
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SoftBank first-half net profit jumps on strong investment returns

  • Net profit rose to ¥840 billion from ¥103 billion during the same period last year
  • The rise was largely driven by gains of ¥649 billion from the SoftBank Vision Fund

TOKYO: Japan’s SoftBank Group said Monday it logged an eight-fold jump in net profit in the six months to September thanks to strong returns from its investment funds.
Net profit rose to ¥840 billion ($7.4 billion) from ¥103 billion during the same period last year, the Japanese mobile giant and IT investor said.
The rise was largely driven by gains of ¥649 billion from the SoftBank Vision Fund, which compared to ¥194 billion in the previous period.
Under tycoon CEO Masayoshi Son, SoftBank, which started as a software firm, has increasingly been seen as an investment firm, plowing funds into a broad range of companies and projects outside its core business.
In recent years, it has completed deals with the likes of French robotics firm Aldebaran and Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.
Nearly half of the money in the SoftBank Vision Fund comes from Saudi Arabia and there has been a pledge of another $45 billion this year.
That gives the Saudis at least an indirect role in some of the hottest companies in the tech sector, including Uber, Slack, WeWork and Nvidia.
SoftBank has also made high-profile investments in the autonomous vehicles sector, announcing last month a tie-up with car giant Toyota for “new mobility services” such as meal deliveries.
Earlier this year, General Motors said the Japanese firm was investing $2.25 billion in GM’s autonomous car program in exchange for a stake in the venture.


Aramco CEO attends China development event

Aramco CEO Amin Nasser meets Chinese Premier Li Keqiang during the China Development Forum 2019. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 27 March 2019
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Aramco CEO attends China development event

Aramco CEO Amin Nasser attended the China Development Forum, a three-day event that focused on key issues such as the supply-side structural reform, new measures of proactive fiscal policy, and the opening up of the financial sector and financial stability. 

The Aramco chief met the Chinese Premier Li Keqiang during the forum. Li expressed his appreciation for Saudi Aramco’s investment in an integrated downstream project in Panjin city in Liaoning, coming right after the visit of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to China in February. 

The exchange also allowed Nasser to briefly outline Aramco’s plans in China including downstream investments in Zhejiang province.