SoftBank loss narrows after Alibaba stake sale

STORY: Losses have at least narrowed at Japanese tech investment giant SoftBank.

Though they still came in at close to $7.2 billion for the year to the end of March, that was little more than half the figure this time a year ago.

The reduction was helped by raising money selling down its stake in Chinese e-commerce titan Alibaba.

Even so, SoftBank chief Masayoshi Son has seen his bid to lead the tech investing world turn sour with a number of bets going wrong.

Office sharing firm WeWork is one, yet again falling in value.

Such losses saw SoftBank again write down the value of its flagship Vision Fund.

It’s now seen five straight quarters of investment losses.

SoftBank says it has switched to a more defensive mode, sharply cutting the number of new deals it does.

Though the firm also holds big stakes in companies poised to go public.

That includes UK-based chip designer Arm, and TikTok parent company ByteDance.

Now SoftBank says it’s weighing up whether to jump into the craze for artificial intelligence products sparked by the success of Microsoft-backed ChatGPT.