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Japanese banks joining Softbank's $100bn Vision Fund

10 May 2018. Published by Nigel Collins, Partner, Head of Japan Desk

MUFG, Mizuho, and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation will be among the final investors in SoftBank's Vision Fund

As reported in the FT, MUFG, Mizuho, and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation will be among the final smaller investors in the fund alongside earlier participants such as Apple, Qualcomm, Foxconn and Sharp. Germany's very active Daimler is also joining at this time which is an interesting move after Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi recently launched a new venture capital fund, Alliance Ventures, which plans to invest up to $1bn over the next five years. Other new investors will include Larry Ellison, the billionaire US co-founder of software group Oracle who is investing personally, and the sovereign wealth fund of Bahrain. Mr Son, founder of SoftBank and the person who has final say on the Vision Fund ’s investment decisions, is also set to make a personal investment as well as create structures that allow the company’s executives to participate in the fund. The new investments will allow the fund to reach its goal of hitting about $100bn, set out when it was launched with the backing of the state investment funds of Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi just over a year ago. The FT reports that individuals close to the three Japanese banks said their decision to invest had a twin motivation: the quest for returns in Japan’s ultra-low interest environment and the desire to further strengthen their relationships with what is by far Japan’s most active corporate name. This has been backed-up by action: $29.7bn invested to date in more than 30 companies, including investments in WeWork, Nvidia, Uber and it's Chinese rival Didi Chuxing.

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