SoftBank returns to quarterly profit but unveils more pain at Vision Fund

SoftBank’s Vision Fund, the brainchild of company founder Masayoshi Son, has faced a number of headwinds, including a drop in tech stocks due to rising interest rates, a difficult Chinese market and geopolitics.

Kentaro Takaash | Bloomberg | Getty Images

from Japan SoftBank Corp Group posted its first quarterly profit in three quarters, supported by the sale of part of its stake in the Chinese Ali Baba even though his massive Vision Fund posted another heavy quarterly loss.

The sprawling Vision Fund, which has turned the tech world upside down with its big bets on startups, will also cut its investments in struggling crypto exchange FTX to zero, a source close to SoftBank said, adding that they were less than $100 million.

The FTX complications mark the latest struggle for Vision Fund, which has been hammered in recent quarters by a global tech rout, prompting SoftBank chief executive Masayoshi Son to drastically cut new investments.

Flagship unit Vision Fund’s investment losses amounted to 1.38 trillion yen ($9.75 billion) in the three months to September 30 as the value of its portfolio continued to decline.

Son told a briefing that this would be the last time he would speak at a post-benefit briefing for “the foreseeable future”, adding that he had no health issues. SoftBank itself is synonymous with Son, which, with its bold bets on everything from Chinese tech to startups like WeWork, has charted a path far different than any other Japanese company.

At SoftBank itself, net profit was 3.03 trillion yen in the second quarter from July to September. In the first quarter, the group had recorded a loss of 3.16 trillion yen.

Days after disclosing the massive first-quarter loss, SoftBank said it would trim its stake in Alibaba Group Holdings to around 15% from around 24% by settling prepaid futures and post an estimated $4.6 trillion gain. of yen in the second quarter.

Over the past quarter, the value of some of SoftBank’s listed investments has fallen, including its stakes in the U.S. real estate broker Compass and Indonesia’s largest technology company, Go towhile the South Korean e-commerce company coupang was among the winners.

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