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SoftBank shares fall 5.5 percent as Saudi ties cause concern



TOKYO (Reuters) – SoftBank Group Corp. ( 9984.T ) shares tumbled 5.5 percent on Monday, hurt by worries about its ties to Saudi Arabia as well as a broader market sell-off.

FILE PHOTO: The SoftBank Group Corp. is presented at SoftBank World 201

7 conference in Tokyo, Japan, July 20, 2017. REUTERS / Issei Kato

Saudi Arabia, which provided much of the funding for the SoftBank Vision Fund Saudi journalist. "Davos in the Desert" investment conference after the disappearance of a prominent Saudi journalist.

"Softbanks stock price is responding negatively," said Takashi Oikawa, an analyst at Ichiyoshi Securities.

The benchmark Nikkei index .N225 was down 1.4 percent in morning Tokyo trade as investors fretted over Sino-U.S. Trade disputes and a possible slowdown in the Chinese economy.

With its Saudi emerging debt, SoftBank is "more psychological than anything related to its fundamentals," said Makoto Kikuchi, chief executive of Myojo Asset Management.

Softbank's influence under Chief Executive Masayoshi What's built up with its investments in the world, with the company last year raising more than $ 93 billion to create its vision fund – with $ 45 billion coming from Saudi Arabia.

That Tech Exposure Has Contributed to Volatility in SoftBank Shares Over the Last Week as Tech Shares Came Under Selling Pressure.

A SoftBank spokesman declined to confirm if it is going to attend the next week's conference, which has become the biggest show for investors to promote Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's reform vision.

Key SoftBank executives listed as attendees include Son, the head of the Vision Fund Rajeev Misra and ARM Holdings CEO Simon Segars.

Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO at Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL] – which is currently SoftBank's biggest bet, said last week he is no longer attending.

Reporting by Sam Nussey; Additional reporting by Ayai Tomisawa and Yoshiyuki Osada; Editing by Edwina Gibbs

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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