Japan’s SoftBank shares hit historic high as online backers celebrate

REUTERS/Issei Kato

SoftBank Group Corp shares closed at a record high on Tuesday, surpassing a peak reached at the height of the dot-com bubble, as online backers celebrated the recovery in the value of the firm’s tech portfolio.

Shares in SoftBank, a heavily weighted component of the Nikkei 225 index which is trading at 30-year highs, closed up 4% at 10,420 yen, above the record 10,111 yen reached in February 2000.

Underpinned by buybacks and with retail investors buying its shares and baseball-themed junk bonds, SoftBank‘s shares have been supported by a growing number of portfolio companies listing in ebullient markets.

The Japanese conglomerate’s comeback, during which its shares have climbed almost 300% from lows hit last March as the COVID-19 pandemic roiled its portfolio, have led to celebration among its online backers.

“Roses are red, violets are blue, SoftBank haters, don’t know what to do,” wrote one prominent supporter on Twitter recently posting under the name “Masa Capital”.

SoftBank will reach 11,000 yen by April,” wrote another on Tuesday. The group’s shares hit an intraday high of 11,000 yen in February 2000 before crashing.

Chief Executive Masayoshi Son’s own social media posts are centred on aphorisms, favouring quarterly presentations over Twitter to transmit his message, in contrast to the memes that have made Tesla CEO Elon Musk a retail investor favourite.

SoftBank‘s climbing share price has pushed its market cap above $200 billion, in marked contrast to a year earlier when it slipped behind Sony Corp to third place in the index.

In the latest effort by a SoftBank-backed firm to tap markets seeing record equity raising, South Korean e-commerce firm Coupang last week filed to list in the United States and is aiming for a $50 billion valuation, a source said.

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. 
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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.