SOFTBANK CEO ANNOUNCES SHARE BUY BACK

SoftBank Group shares rose nearly 18% in Tokyo on Thursday after the company announced it would buy back as much as 600 billion yen ($5.5 billion) of its own shares in the next year.

The stock surge is a nod to Son’s strategy of transforming SoftBank’s profile from a telecommunications operator into the world’s most powerful tech investor.

Son complained that his company’s closing share price that day was “too cheap” while presenting SoftBank’s earnings. He went on to explain why he believes the collection of tech and telecommunications assets he has assembled should command a higher valuation.

SoftBank has set up a nearly $100 billion Vision Fund, to which Saudi Arabia has contributed significantly. Vision Fund has focused on investing in dozens of tech startups and is always on the search for new investment opportunities. The rising value of its stakes in companies like Uber and WeWork helped grow SoftBank’s earnings the final quarter of 2018, the company said.

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