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SoftBank Vision Fund posts $26 billion loss; Son pledges defence

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: SoftBank Corp’s logo is pictured at a news conference in Tokyo, Japan, February 4, 2021. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

By Sam Nussey

TOKYO (Reuters) – SoftBank Group Corp reported on Thursday a net loss of 1.7 trillion yen ($13.12 billion) for the year ended in March as the tech investor faces a sliding tech portfolio.

The result compared with a record 4.99 trillion yen profit a year earlier, when the boost from the listing of South Korean e-commerce firm Coupang saw SoftBank’s earnings surpass global heavyweights including Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRKa).

Coupang is trading 70% below its listing price and is one of a swathe of portfolio companies, including ridehailers Didi Global Inc and Grab Holdings, that tumbled during the January-March quarter.

The slump is casting a shadow on founder and CEO Masayoshi Son’s strategy of heavy concentration in high-growth stocks increasingly out of favour with investors as interest rates rise.

SoftBank’s Vision Fund unit reported a 2.97 trillion yen investment loss in the January-March quarter, according to Reuters calculations.

The 64-year-old billionaire has described SoftBank as a goose laying golden eggs but the pace of listings has slowed with one notable recent exception, Indonesia’s GoTo, sliding since going public last month.

To raise cash SoftBank is targeting a U.S. listing of chip designer Arm following the collapse of the sale to chipmaker Nvidia.

($1 = 129.5400 yen)

SoftBank posts $13 billion FY net loss

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