Japan’s SoftBank invests in US office space-sharing WeWork

SoftBank has been investing globally, including in US wireless company Sprint, British IoT company ARM, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and US ride-sharing service Uber. (AP)
Updated 15 November 2018
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Japan’s SoftBank invests in US office space-sharing WeWork

  • SoftBank confirmed the investment but referred queries to WeWork
  • WeWork has opened 11 locations in Tokyo, and has a few more in other cities in Japan
TOKYO: American office space-sharing company WeWork has obtained $3 billion in funding from Japanese technology conglomerate SoftBank Group Corp.
The new funding comes in addition to the $1 billion raised from SoftBank last quarter, WeWork spokesperson Kumiko Hidaka said Thursday.
WeWork, which targets startups, is operating not only in the US but also India, China, Peru, Israel and other nations, as well as Japan, where real estate is relatively expensive, allowing WeWork an opportunity to grow.
SoftBank confirmed the investment but referred queries to WeWork.
In a sign the company has other sources of funding, SoftBank is carrying out an initial public offering of its Japanese mobile subsidiary, set for Dec. 19. It’s likely to be one of the world’s biggest IPOs. The Tokyo Stock Exchange approved the listing of 1.6 billion shares this week at ¥1,500 ($13) a share, which would potentially raise more than ¥2 trillion ($20 billion).
In addition to WeWork, SoftBank has been investing globally, including in US wireless company Sprint, British IoT company ARM, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and US ride-sharing service Uber.
WeWork has opened 11 locations in Tokyo, and has a few more in other cities in Japan. The buildings are spacious, although they are broken into smaller cubicles for lesser paying clients, and have nice interiors.
The spaces come with wireless and other office services, and have communal areas for networking and meetings, designed to make renting attractive to ventures.


Oil rises on US-Iran tensions, but trade war concerns weigh

Updated 21 May 2019
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Oil rises on US-Iran tensions, but trade war concerns weigh

  • There are expectations producer club OPEC will continue to withhold supply this year
  • President Donald Trump on Monday threatened Iran with ‘great force’ if it attacked US interests in the Middle East

SINGAPORE: Oil prices rose on Tuesday on escalating US-Iran tensions and amid expectations that producer club OPEC will continue to withhold supply this year.
But gains were checked by concerns that a prolonged trade war between Washington and Beijing could lead to a global economic slowdown.
Brent crude futures, the international benchmark for oil prices, were at $72.24 per barrel at 0534 GMT, up 27 cents, or 0.4 percent, from their last close.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were up 26 cents, or 0.4 percent, at $63.36 per barrel.
“Escalating tensions between the US and Iran, in addition to signs that OPEC will continue its production cut, drove oil higher,” said Jasper Lawler, head of research at futures brokerage London Capital Group.
US President Donald Trump on Monday threatened Iran with “great force” if it attacked US interests in the Middle East. This came after a rocket attack in Iraq’s capital Baghdad, which Washington suspects to have been organized by militia with ties to Iran.
Iran said on Tuesday that it would resist US pressure, declining further talks under current circumstances.
The tension comes amid an already tight market as the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), Russia and other producers have been withholding supply since the start of the year to prop up prices.
A meeting has been scheduled for June 25-26 to discuss the policy, but the group is now considering moving the event to July 3-4, according to OPEC sources on Monday, with its de-facto leader Saudi Arabia signaling a willingness to continue withholding output.
Price gains were constrained by pressure on financial markets, which have this week been weighed down by worries that the United States and China are digging in for a long, costly trade war that could result in a broad global slowdown.
Singapore, seen as a bellwether for the health of the global economy, on Tuesday posted its lowest quarterly growth in nearly a decade of 1.2 percent year-on-year. Growth in Thailand, a key Asian emerging market, also slowed to a multi-year low.