SoftBank to Create Asset Management Firm to Buy Public Stocks

SoftBank Group Corp. founder Masayoshi Son said that he is creating an asset management company to invest in publicly traded stocks, including the biggest tech companies in the world.

Son said the unit would have about $555 million in capital and has already started investing. Among the stocks purchased already are Apple Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and Facebook Inc.

Son has been shifting the Japanese conglomerate away from the telecom industry toward investment activities. He created the $100 billion Vision Fund to invest in private startups, such as Didi Chuxing and Coupang. The asset management effort is part of that shift.

“We are promoting the information revolution, like the conductor of an orchestra,” said Son, who will personally own 33% of the asset management firm. “This is the purpose of our company.”

Son made the announcement after SoftBank rebounded from a record loss to post a first-quarter profit. Net income hit 1.26 trillion yen ($11.8 billion) for the three months ended June 30, the Tokyo-based company said in a statement on Tuesday, compared with a loss of 1.44 trillion yen three months earlier.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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