Spring Blossoms for Billionaire Masayoshi Son: Vision Fund Achieves Record Profits for 3 Consecutive Years, SoftBank Returns to Profit Following 4 Quarters of Losses

 SoftBank recently announced the final quarter of 2023 operations of its Vision Fund technology investment fund, recording the largest profit in nearly 3 years.

SoftBank's performance has exceeded LSEG's forecast. Specifically, net revenue reached 1,770 billion Yen (11.9 billion USD), lower than the expected 1,800 billion Yen. Vision Fund's net profit was 950 billion Yen, exceeding expectations of 196.5 billion Yen.

The Vision Fund recorded a profit from 600.7 billion yen of investment, continuing to recover after a record loss in the previous fiscal year. This is the highest profit since the third quarter of 2021, when the fund had a profit of 3,590 billion yen.

The last quarter of 2023 is also the first quarter that SoftBank is profitable after four consecutive quarters of losses.

SoftBank's flagship technology investment arm had a tough time in the fiscal year that ended last March. The company suffered a record loss of about 32 billion USD, because technology stock prices fell. At the same time, some corporate investment activities in China are not as expected.

SoftBank also sees rising valuations from two major companies that Vision Fund invests in: Chinese ride-hailing app Didi and TikTok owner ByteDance.

In the third quarter of 2023, Vision Fund announced its first investment profit in five quarters. These are early signs that growth is coinciding with a rally in tech stock prices.

In 2022, SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son said the company will switch to “defensive mode,” slowing its investment pace and adopting a more cautious approach. In June, billionaire Son pressed the switch to “attack” mode, expressing his excitement about the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) technology. Vision Fund approaches AI through investments in companies like China's SenseTime.

SoftBank has grown into one of Japan's largest companies thanks to billionaire Son's early bet on Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba in 2000. The company has boomed in recent years. the following year.

However, SoftBank recently cut its stake in Alibaba. Chief Financial Officer Yoshimitsu Goto revealed that SoftBank's stake in Alibaba decreased from 50% at the end of December 2021 to nearly 0% at the end of 2023.

During the same period, SoftBank increased its stake in Arm, increasing from 9% to 32%.

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