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.


IDEX 2019: UAE armed forces sign new defense deals

Updated 19 February 2019
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IDEX 2019: UAE armed forces sign new defense deals

  • Falcon was developed in response to the UAE’s request to replace the Hawk Air Defense System

ABU DHABI: The UAE armed forces has signed $1.17 million worth of defense contracts with local companies and $514.8 million with international companies, military spokesperson Brigadier General Mohammed Al-Hassani said on Tuesday.

The Emirates on Monday also awarded Raytheon a $1.55 billion contract to supply its air force with platform systems to launch missiles.

The agreement was signed at the week-long IDEX military exhibition in Abu Dhabi and followed the award on Sunday of a 1.3 billion-dirham contract to Raytheon to supply the UAE with patriot missiles.

The UAE armed forces signed a total of 7.2 billion dirhams in contracts on Monday, including 5.8 billion dirhams with international companies, Brig. Gen. Mohammed Al-Hassani said, speaking through a translator.

The UAE has signed a total of 12 billion dirhams in contracts since the IDEX exhibition started on Sunday, he said.

Lockheed Martin, Germany’s Diehl Defense, and Sweden’s Saab on Monday launched at IDEX the Falcon air defense weapon system, billed as a replacement to the Hawk system used by countries in the Middle East.

Falcon was developed in response to a UAE request for a replacement for the Hawk system and talks are underway to sell it to the Gulf state, Scott Arnold, Lockheed Martin’s vice president and deputy head of Integrated Air and Missile Defense said.

Weapons sales to the UAE have come under scrutiny over the past year due to the country’s involvement in the Yemen war that has killed tens of thousands of people and pushed the country to the brink of starvation.

The UAE and Saudi Arabia are leading a military coalition, which includes local forces drawn from Yemeni factions, that is trying to restore the internationally recognized government ousted from power in 2014 by the Iran-aligned Houthi movement.