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SoftBank Group to book 1.2 trillion yen profit on sale of Alibaba shares

SoftBank Group to book 1.2 trillion yen profit on sale of Alibaba shares
FILE PHOTO : The logo of SoftBank Group Corp is displayed at SoftBank World 2017 conference in Tokyo, Japan, July 20, 2017. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo -
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By Sam Nussey

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp said on Tuesday it expects to book around 1.2 trillion yen (£8.8 billion) in pre-tax profit on the sale of shares in China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

The sale dates from 2016 when SoftBank sold part of its Alibaba stake via derivatives to fund its acquisition of British chip designer ARM.

The transaction leaves SoftBank with a 26% stake in Alibaba. The Japanese investment firm said it would book the profit in the financial quarter ending June.

SoftBank Group founder and Chief Executive Masayoshi Son bought into Alibaba for just $20 million in 2000. The Chinese startup’s growth into one of the world’s biggest e-commerce companies has helped burnish Son’s tech investor credentials.

The windfall comes as one of Son’s biggest tech bets, Uber Technologies Inc, has shown lacklustre stock market performance since its market debut last month.

New York-listed Alibaba is considering a follow-on share sale in Hong Kong to raise as much as $20 billion to boost its investment war chest, people familiar with the matter told Reuters last week.

(Reporting by Sam Nussey; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

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