Japan's SoftBank Group to book $11 billion profit on sale of shares in China’s Alibaba Group Holding

Tokyo: Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp said on Tuesday it expects to book around 1.2 trillion yen ($11.12 billion) in pre-tax profit on the sale of shares in China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

The sale dates from 2016 when SoftBank sold part of its Alibaba stake via derivatives to fund its acquisition of British chip designer ARM.

The transaction leaves SoftBank with a 26 percent stake in Alibaba worth $101 billion. The Japanese investment firm said it would book the profit in the financial quarter ending June.

 Japans SoftBank Group to book  billion profit on sale of shares in China’s Alibaba Group Holding

Representational image. Reuters.

SoftBank Group founder and Chief Executive Masayoshi Son bought into Alibaba for just $20 million in 2000. The Chinese startup’s growth into one of the world’s biggest e-commerce companies has helped burnish Son’s tech investor credentials.

The windfall comes as one of Son’s biggest tech bets, Uber Technologies Inc, has shown lacklustre stock market performance since its market debut last month.

SoftBank booked a 418 billion yen gain on its Uber stake in the financial quarter ended March ahead of the debut. On Monday, Uber’s shares closed 9 percent below their IPO price at $41.

Son has referred to the value of the Alibaba stake to argue that SoftBank Group’s shares are undervalued. Following the end of a 600 billion yen stock-buyback programme and Uber’s disappointing listing, the shares have fallen 23 percent from their April high.

SoftBank Group shares closed down 3 percent on Tuesday ahead of the Alibaba sale announcement, giving the conglomerate a market capitalisation of 10.2 trillion yen.

New York-listed Alibaba is considering a follow-on share sale in Hong Kong to raise as much as $20 billion to boost its investment war chest, people familiar with the matter told Reuters last week.

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Updated Date: Jun 04, 2019 15:46:23 IST