Japanese giant SoftBank Group reported a record investment loss for its technology-heavy investment business.
The Softbank Vision Business Investment Fund posted an investment loss of 5.3 trillion yen, or $39 billion, for the fiscal year ending March 31. He writes financial times.
The loss is equivalent to just over NOK 340 billion at today’s exchange rate.
SoftBank, which invests in developing companies around the world, was hit hard by last year’s drop in technology stocks.
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Yoshimitsu Goto, Chief Financial Officer of Softbank, said Thursday that the company will not miss the opportunity to invest in new technologies such as ChatGPT despite the losses.
However, he cautioned that there was no time to accelerate the agreement’s activity, the Financial Times writes. The war in Ukraine and the tension between the US and China will continue to be a major risk in the market, according to the company.
SoftBank reported a net loss of 970 billion yen in the fiscal year, compared to a loss of 1.7 billion yen in the previous year. Analysts expected a loss of 166 billion yen, according to S&P Capital IQ.
Softbank founder Masayoshi Son said a year ago that the company would enter “defense mode” in the face of financial market turmoil, stopping new investments from its own funds.
The company is also preparing to dilute its holdings in Chinese e-commerce group Alibaba, as well as the initial public offering of British computer chip company Arm.
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Last year, Softbank exited some of its high-profile investments to raise money. Selling shares in T-Mobile and Alibaba lowered the company’s overall loss last year, he writes CNBC.
The Japanese giant sold $7.2 billion worth of Alibaba shares in the last quarter, through forward-paid contracts, after selling a record $29 billion last year.
improvement in the fourth quarter
At the same time, SoftBank cut its losses in the fourth quarter, which ran between January and March, helped by a rally in technology stocks. The Softbank Vision Fund suffered an investment loss of about 237 billion yen in the quarter, compared to a loss of 730 billion yen in the previous year.
Chief Financial Officer Yoshimitsu Goto also mentioned that the past year was “unstable,” marked by geopolitical risks and instability in the financial system.
– In the first quarter, we may see some signs of improvement, but we don’t expect a fundamental solution to the problems, Goto said at a press conference on Thursday, according to CNBC.
He also said that AI is making “great progress” with the company. Therefore, they are considering whether the company should continue to be in “defense mode” or not.
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