SoftBank Shares Plummet 12% as Vision Fund Loses $10 Billion in Third Quarter

SoftBank shares plummeted 12 percent on Monday, after its tech investment vehicle reported a steep quarterly loss and the company dithered in announcing a much-awaited stock buyback. The market plunge was the steepest intraday loss in nearly two years.

On Monday, Vision Fund, Masayoshi Son-led SoftBank Group's tech investment vehicle, said it suffered a loss of $9.88 billion (1.38 trillion yen) in the quarter ending on September 30.

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Nikkei 225 Falls 0.44 Percent

"Share prices of numerous public portfolio companies declined amid the weakness in global stock markets, and the fair value of a wide range of private portfolio companies also decreased," SoftBank said in the financial report, according to CNBC.

Dragged by SoftBank losses, Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.44 percent on Monday.

The losses at Vision Fund came on the back of declining startup valuations that forced SoftBank to stop investments. Bloomberg News reported that SoftBank has suffered major setbacks in its investment portfolio as valuations have declined in more than 400 investments in both public and private tech companies around the world.

The valuations of companies like China's SenseTime Group Inc., US food delivery firm DoorDash Inc. and Indonesian ride-hailing and e-commerce firm GoTo Group have declined steeply, according to the report. The returns from its Latin America portfolio also plunged, recording a huge loss of $1.5 billion.

Masayoshi Son
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The 'Unicorn Winter' had forced SoftBank to take drastic measures throughout the year. In August, the Japanese giant said it suffered massive losses in the past two quarters of the year, and that it was trimming its stake in Alibaba to 14.6 percent.

"The current equity market environment is challenging and may be prolonged. Considering the said market environment ... SBG (SoftBank Group Corp) has determined that the best option at this time is to settle these prepaid forward contracts in physical form," the company had said.

At that time, Son, the founder and CEO of Softbank, had also warned unicorns and startups to prepare for a harsh and longer funding winter ahead, as the company posted disastrous results for the second straight quarter this year.