SoftBank to book $34 bln gain on Alibaba shares; reduce stake to 14.6%

Article content TOKYO — SoftBank Group Corp on Wednesday said it will book an estimated gain of 4.6 trillion yen ($34.08 billion) on settling prepaid forward contracts using shares in Alibaba Group Holding, reducing its stake to 14.6% from 23.7%. The estimated gain includes a 2.4 trillion yen gain from the revaluation of shares in the Chinese e-commerce giant and a derivative gain of 0.7 trillion yen, SoftBank said in a filing. The transaction “will be able to eliminate concerns about future cash outflows, and furthermore, reduce costs associated with these prepaid forward contracts,” SoftBank said. Article content “These will further strengthen our defense against the severe market environment,” SoftBank added. The Japanese conglomerate on Monday booked a record quarterly net loss due to sliding valuations at the Vision Fund investment arm, with Chief Executive Masayoshi Son pledging to further rein in investment activity and cut costs. The transaction is not expected to result in additional sales of Alibaba shares on the market as the shares were hedged at the time of the original monetisation, SoftBank said. ($1 = 134.9700 yen) (Reporting by Sam Nussey; editing by Andrew Heavens, Jason Neely and Louise Heavens)

South African business confidence index rises in July – SACCI

Article content South African business confidence rose slightly in July, helped by an increase in trade volumes and new vehicle sales, data showed on Wednesday. The South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) monthly business confidence index (BCI) edged up to 110.3 in July from 108.5 in June. “The July 2022 BCI number indicates the business climate is gradually returning to normality,” SACCI said in a statement, after Africa’s most industrialized nation was dealt a severe blow by the COVID-19 pandemic, riots in 2021 and damaging floods in April this year. Despite the pickup in the headline BCI number, SACCI cited price pressures, a volatile rand exchange rate and higher interest rates as weighing on the local business environment. SACCI said the reference point for the BCI had been adjusted to make 2020 the base year, reflecting changing trends in the economy and financial markets. (Reporting by Bhargav Acharya in Bengaluru Editing by Alexander Winning)