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SoftBank Vision Fund's investments hover near $45bn in 2018

Japanese company continued spending despite stock market plunge

SoftBank Group founder and CEO Masayoshi Son. The group's Vision Fund totals about 5 trillion yen, renewing the possibility of the CEO starting a second fund. (Photo by Shinya Sawai)

TOKYO -- Total investments by SoftBank Group's Vision Fund stood at about 5 trillion yen ($45.5 billion) through December 2018, reflecting its bold approach despite a global stock market plunge and as of yet unrealized profits in existing ventures.

Investments in cutting-edge technologies like artificial intelligence surged more than 60% in the October-December quarter.

The fund, which has about 10 trillion yen, launched with nearly half of its initial funding contributed by Saudi Arabia. At the end of September, the cumulative investment from the fund reached $28.1 billion spread over 38 companies.

The number of investees -- many of which are unlisted -- has since doubled to about 70. The company does not disclose investee details.

With investments hovering near 5 trillion yen, the fund may spawn a second one, which SoftBank Group founder and CEO Masayoshi Son has previously mentioned. Whether investors for the new fund can be found remains uncertain.

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