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Japan's SoftBank predicts $16.5bn in losses on its Vision Fund

SoftBank in Osaka, Japan on 25 May 2008 [Kirakirameister.Wikipedia]
SoftBank in Osaka, Japan on 25 May 2008 [Kirakirameister/Wikipedia]

Japanese SoftBank Group yesterday said it was expecting its tech-focused fund, dubbed "Vision Fund", to suffer around $16.5 billion in losses in the last financial year, which ended in March.

In an official statement, the group blamed the hit on its Saudi-backed fund to what it described as "the deteriorating market environment amid the global coronavirus outbreak," noting that the hit was its "third consecutive quarterly loss".

In 2017, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman agreed in a meeting with SoftBank's Chief Executive Masayoshi Son to inject $45 billion of investment into the kingdom as part of the fund's total capital of $100 billion.

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The tech conglomerate pointed out that the losses were expected to increase by a further $7.4 billion as a result of the group's investments outside the Vision Fund.

SoftBank did not disclose which Vision Fund tech bets were being marked down in the fourth quarter. Earlier this month it said it would be pulling the plug on a $3 billion tender as part of its rescue plan for office share company WeWork, prompting the company's board to sue.

The group's shares were reported to have fallen by more than 17 per cent this year.

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