SoftBank Stake $1.2bn In Amazon, Invests In Netflix, Tesla

SoftBank Group Corp has built a stake worth around $1.2 billion in e-commerce firm Amazon, regulatory filings showed on Monday, as the tech conglomerate expands its investing activities beyond its recent focus on unlisted startups.

Chief Executive Masayoshi Son last week announced a new investment management subsidiary that would park excess cash from a massive asset sale programme in liquid stocks. SoftBank has spent around $10 billion buying shares.

In addition to Amazon, the group has built stakes in Netflix Inc., Tesla Inc, Microsoft Corp and Alphabet Inc, filings showed.

SoftBank also disclosed a stake in chip supplier Nvidia Corp worth around $220 million based on Friday’s closing price. It exited its stake in the firm last year. SoftBank is currently in talks with Nvidia over a possible sale of chip designer Arm, media have reported.

The group is pivoting towards investing outside the $100 billion Vision Fund with its focus on unlisted, late stage startups. The fund has buffeted the group’s earnings as the value of its holdings have fallen below acquisition price.

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The value of many of the listed shares is rising, driven by a tech stock rally, with Tesla’s shares up more than 60% since the end of June. Son has dropped operating profit as a measure of his group’s performance, saying the value of the assets is a better yardstick.

SoftBank also disclosed stakes in Chinese video sites Bilibili Inc and iQIYI Inc. iQIYI is currently being probed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Deborah Adegoke

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