SoftBank Group resumed its share buybacks in September, after an enforced pause in August due to asset sales, saying on Wednesday it spent 40 billion yen (R6.27 billion) of its growing cash pile. Photo: (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)
SoftBank Group resumed its share buybacks in September, after an enforced pause in August due to asset sales, saying on Wednesday it spent 40 billion yen (R6.27 billion) of its growing cash pile. Photo: (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara)

SoftBank restarts buybacks as asset sales swell cash pile

By Reuters Time of article published Oct 14, 2020

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INTERNATIONAL - SoftBank Group resumed its share buybacks in September, after an enforced pause in August due to asset sales, saying on Wednesday it spent 40 billion yen (R6.27 billion) of its growing cash pile.

This is in line with previous signalling of a slower pace of purchases from SoftBank, which spent 1 trillion yen on buybacks between March and early August after the gap between the value of its assets and market valuation reached record levels.

SoftBank's shares traded sideways during the lull in August ahead of deal news, which included the sale of chip designer Arm to Nvidia, but have since resumed their climb and closed near two decade highs on Wednesday.

In a sign of SoftBank’s restored confidence, its Vision Fund plans to market a blank-check company to investors, a source told Reuters, as it joins a trend to offer private companies a quick route to public markets.

The size of the company has not been decided, the source said, but could include SoftBank cash. In July 2019 SoftBank said it had secured $108 billion in pledges for a successor to its $100 billion Vision Fund, before a string of soured bets undermined fundraising efforts.

A recovery at the first fund, which analysts say could trigger a broader reappraisal of the group’s investing abilities, has yet to be seen, with its assets still underwater at the end of June.

Mitsunobu Tsuruo, a Citigroup analyst, forecasts SoftBank’s earnings “at roughly breakeven” for the year ended March, while cautioning that it is “exceptionally hard for people outside the firm to establish a rational outlook for earnings”.

Citigroup estimates SoftBank’s asset sales have topped 9 trillion yen ($85 billion) in the last six months.

REUTERS

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