SoftBank looking to invest up to USD25bn in Saudi Arabia, sources say

16 Nov 2017

Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp plans to invest up to USD25 billion in Saudi Arabia over the next three to four years as Masayoshi Son’s company strengthens its investment in the Kingdom, according to Bloomberg citing people familiar with the matter. In one initiative, SoftBank aims to deploy up to USD15 billion in a new city called ‘Neom’ that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman plans to build on the Red Sea coast, the unnamed sources are cited as saying. Further, as part of its Vision Fund, the Japanese group is considering ploughing as much as USD10 billion into state-backed Saudi Electricity Co. as it looks ‘to diversify the utility into renewables and solar energy’, the people said. A representative for SoftBank declined to comment, although Bloomberg notes that Son has been deepening ties with Saudi Arabia since raising USD45 billion from the country’s Public Investment Fund for a USD100 billion fund this year. The potential Saudi investments come as it expands from technology investments to asset management. The Tokyo-based company has used cash from its telecommunications operations to invest in everything from UK semiconductor design company ARM Holdings to chat service Slack Technologies. SoftBank, however, has one of the heaviest debt loads in Japan with JPY14.9 trillion (USD131.8 billion) in long term debt.

Japan, Saudi Arabia, SoftBank Group Corp