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How Far Along is SoftBank’s Vision Fund After Reaching its First Close?

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On the heels of U.S. President Donald J. Trump in Saudi Arabia, Japan-based SoftBank Group announced its first major close regarding the gargantuan SoftBank Vision Fund. Japanese billionaire Masayoshi Son, Chairman of SoftBank, was also in Riyadh at the time. After Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton in the U.S. Presidential election, Son met with Trump, pledging US$ 50 billion of investment into the United States, thus seeking to create 50,000 U.S. jobs.

Initial investors backing the fund include Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), Mubadala Investment Co., Qualcomm, Sharp Corporation, Apple Inc., and Foxconn Technology Group. PIF has the largest commitment at US$ 45 billion and will reserve the right to participate in certain deals. The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) has not fully-confirmed its participation in the fund. When fully-funded, the global SoftBank Vision Fund will be the largest private equity-style, technology-focused fund ever formed.

The SoftBank Vision Fund aims to “accelerate the information revolution,” looking to back investments in robotics, computational biology, mobile applications, cloud technologies, consumer internet businesses, artificial intelligence (AI) and financial technology. The Vision Fund will seek to buy minority and majority ownership interests in both private and public companies. These companies could be both mature, established businesses, all the way to, emerging technological companies. The fund will target investments starting at US$ 100 million or more. Also, PIF had invested billions into Uber Technologies, while SoftBank invested in Chinese taxi app Didi. With that being stated and to avoid potential conflict, the Vision Fund plans to not participate in taxi-app deals.

When fully-funded, the global SoftBank Vision Fund will be the largest private equity-style, technology-focused fund ever formed.

Vision Fund Investor Table

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Saudi Aramco and PIF See Opportunities in Russia

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Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) is currently exploring opportunities within Russia. PIF is working with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) on a number of fronts. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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HNA Group Aims to Shrink and Sell

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Chinese conglomerate HNA Group is on a selling spree due to an order from the government in Beijing to scale back on debt. HNA Group joins Anbang Insurance Group and Dalian Wanda Group in deleveraging from global assets, particularly in hotels and real estate. [ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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Central Bank of Hungary Buys Mounds of Gold

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In October, the Central Bank of Hungary (MNB) boosted its gold reserves by 10 times, from 3.1 tons to 31.5 tons. This was revealed on October 16, 2018. The gold acquired by the central bank in October has a holding value of US$ 1.24 billion.[ Content protected for Sovereign Wealth Fund Institute Standard subscribers only. Please subscribe to view content. ]

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