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SoftBank plans to lend up to $20 billion to employees to invest in new fund - WSJ

SoftBank plans to lend up to $20 billion to employees to invest in new fund - WSJ
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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Issei Kato(Reuters)
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(Reuters) – Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp <9984.T> is planning to lend up to $20 billion (16.5 billion pounds) to its employees, including Chief Executive Masayoshi Son, to buy stakes in its second Vision Fund, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Son himself may account for over half of that amount, the Journal reported, adding that executives feel that such a step will make employees more accountable as the investments of the fund can be cancelled if a manager leaves or is found to have engaged in a “reckless deal”.

The loans are likely to have an interest rate of about 5%, the WSJ said, citing a source.

The government of Kazakhstan, an investor in the fund, is expected to make a contribution of about $3 billion while banks such as Goldman Sachs Group Inc <GS.N>, Britain’s Standard Chartered PLC <STAN.L> and Japan’s Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc <8306.T> have also indicated they are willing to invest several hundred million dollars each, according to the report.

SoftBank is discussing with many pensions and insurers, including in Taiwan, for total investments that it hopes will cross $30 billion, the WSJ reported.

SoftBank was not immediately available for a comment on Saturday.

(Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru)

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