SoftBank on Monday posted a loss of 397 billion yen ($3.5 billion) for the July-to-September quarter. Son said that the company’s net asset value — which he says is a better indication of the firm’s performance — fell by 6 trillion yen ($54.3 billion) to $187 billion.
The reason for the hit? “In one word: Alibaba,” said Son, during an earnings presentation which he opened with a picture of a blizzard.
Alibaba was long the crown jewel of SoftBank’s investment portfolio, and Son and Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma are close friends. The Japanese entrepreneur invested $20 million in Alibaba over 20 years ago, turning that bet into one that was worth $60 billion when Alibaba went public in 2014.
China’s regulatory actions have hurt Softbank’s massive Vision Fund investment portfolio, which recorded a loss of about $10.5 billion for the quarter.
Eyes on India
But the Japanese billionaire remains optimistic about the future. He said that the fund has plenty of “golden eggs” for this year, referring to a slew of companies from its portfolio that are planning to go public.
“Paytm should grow significantly,” he said in response to a question about the Indian company’s valuation. “For us, their IPO should be a great event.”