Mubadala eyes debt market, mulls backing SoftBank Vision Fund 2

A Mubadala Development Co. employee pauses near the company's logo at their exhibition booth during the Singapore Airshow in Singapore. Photographer: JONATHAN DRAKE/Bloomberg

Abu Dhabi state investor Mubadala Investment Co is weighing debt issuance amid attractive market conditions and could invest in oil giant Saudi Aramco’s planned share offering, its group chief executive said on Thursday.

Khaldoon Khalifa al Mubarak added the state investor exited its investment in U.S. chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices in September after 12 years, having made $4.25 billion on its initial investment of $770 million.

The Gulf has seen a flurry of international debt issuance as governments and companies take advantage of low global rates to attract yield-seeking investors and raise debt cheaply.

“I do see opportunities given the pricing, debt is very attractive … We will certainly be looking at the debt market in the next few months, or weeks,” Mubarak, group chief executive and managing director told Reuters in an interview.

Mubadala would take an investment decision on Aramco’s planned initial public offering “when it comes our way,” he added.

Aramco, the world’s largest oil firm, could announce plans next week to float a 1%-2% stake on the kingdom’s Tadawul market before a possible international listing, launching an initiative that is central to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s economic diversification drive.

Mubarak also said that Mubadala, which has assets under management of $229 billion, is considering participating in Japanese group SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2, but has not made a decision.

He said the Softbank’s Vision Fund 1, in which Mubadala contributed $15 billion, has performed well from an investor perspective with “very strong returns.”

“We have managed our risk very carefully (in Vision Fund 1) with preferred securities with 7% yield with a portfolio of 80 companies. We will decide on (Vision Fund 2) when it is the right time for us.”

His comments came after Reuters reported earlier this month SoftBank Group founder and CEO Masayoshi Son is struggling to raise money for a second massive technology investment fund in the wake of the failed public offering of office-rental company WeWork and sliding valuations of other major investments.

Mubadala is still looking to list Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) but cautioned that this is not the best time for an exit from EGA given a correction in aluminium prices.

He also said Mubadala has an interest to encourage IPOs in the United Arab Emirates’ market and it has companies that could be listed locally.

Reuters

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.