BREAKING NEWS Six-vehicle crash on Harrisburg bridge, minor injuries reported Full Story

SoftBank sticks with Saudis despite 'strong regret' over Khashoggi killing

Masa Son is sticking with Saudi Arabia.The CEO and founder of Japan's SoftBank (...

Posted: Nov 5, 2018 9:46 AM
Updated: Nov 5, 2018 9:46 AM

Masa Son is sticking with Saudi Arabia.

The CEO and founder of Japan's SoftBank (SFTBF) on Monday expressed "strong regret" over the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, but said his company can't sever its financial ties to Saudi Arabia. He said SoftBank wouldn't take any more Saudi cash until the truth about the murder was known.

Business figures

Continents and regions

Masayoshi Son

Middle East

Middle East and North Africa

Saudi Arabia

Companies

SoftBank Group Corp

Technology

Jamal Khashoggi

Misc people

Business, economy and trade

Company activities and management

Company earnings

Financial performance and reports

Financial results

Banking, finance and investments

Financial markets and investing

The Japanese billionaire has built up strong ties with the Saudi government and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The kingdom provided nearly half the $93 billion that SoftBank raised for its Vision Fund, which has made investments in startups such as WeWork and Slack.

The killing of Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul was "a terrible incident that should never have happened," Son said Monday in his first public comments since an international outcry erupted over the journalist's death.

But SoftBank had "received funds to invest from the people of Saudi Arabia," Son added. As horrific as the killing was, the company believed it should "fulfill its responsibility for the future of the Saudi people," Son said during an earnings presentation in Tokyo.

Monday's statement showed that the Vision Fund is already giving a big boost to SoftBank's profits.

'Too early' to think about a new Saudi-SoftBank fund

Son had previously talked about establishing a second Vision Fund, an idea embraced by bin Salman. In May, Son said it would be set up in the "near future." But he played down those plans on Monday, saying it's "too early" to think about the next fund.

"New investment for future Vision funds will be considered after the truth is found out and an explanation is given," about Khashoggi's killing, he said.

The Vision Fund has pumped money into around 30 companies, turning Son into the new kingmaker of Silicon Valley. As well as raising money from Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi, the Vision Fund attracted other high-profile investors such as Apple (AAPL) and US chipmaker Qualcomm (QCOM).

Some analysts had expressed concern that firms may now shun Vision Fund investments because of the Saudi connection.

"There may be some impact, but so far I haven't heard that there are any companies that don't want to accept money because of [Vision Fund's] relationship with Saudi Arabia," Son said Monday.

Last week, two Silicon Valley startups announced that the Vision Fund had participated in their latest founding rounds.

"The long-run impact will likely depend on what SoftBank does after any investigations are concluded," said Dan Baker, an analyst with investment research firm Morningstar.

According to the company's earnings report Monday, the Vision Fund and a related fund brought in about 392 billion yen ($3.5 billion) in operating profit in the latest quarter, more than the rest of the company's other businesses combined.

The jump came from the sale of shares in Indian e-commerce firm Flipkart and increases in the values of chipmaker Nvidia (NVDA), hotel chain Oyo and other companies in which the fund has invested.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 81437

Reported Deaths: 1003
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah18813263
Washington11493107
Marion9933158
Clackamas701283
Lane470652
Umatilla457450
Jackson420141
Deschutes268515
Malheur250845
Yamhill185317
Linn170424
Polk138720
Klamath10437
Douglas102620
Jefferson91211
Benton8777
Union8368
Morrow6937
Lincoln67816
Josephine6165
Wasco57519
Columbia5524
Coos4873
Hood River4603
Clatsop3970
Baker3164
Crook2686
Curry1592
Tillamook1520
Lake1451
Grant1421
Harney1081
Wallowa723
Gilliam240
Sherman240
Wheeler60
Unassigned00
Eugene
Overcast
30° wxIcon
Hi: 51° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 30°
Corvallis
Scattered Clouds
25° wxIcon
Hi: 46° Lo: 40°
Feels Like: 25°
Roseburg
Overcast
35° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 43°
Feels Like: 35°
North Bend
Clear
41° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 41°
KEZI Radar
KEZI Temperatures
KEZI Planner

LATEST FORECAST

Community Events