SoftBank Heads for 17-Year High Amid Japan Rally, Sprint Talks

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Source: Bloomberg Markets

SoftBank Group Corp. shares surged in Tokyo and are headed for a 17-year high amid a rally in Japanese stocks and signs of progress in founder Masayoshi Son’s deal-making.

The Tokyo-based company’s shares surged as much as 4.6 percent and traded 3.6 percent higher at 9,839 yen at 2:24 p.m. in Tokyo. If they finish the session at that level, that would be the highest closing price since March 2000, amid the dot-com boom.

A prolific dealmaker, Son is in the midst of several high-profile negotiations. SoftBank-controlled Sprint Corp. is in the final stages of working out merger terms with T-Mobile US Inc., people familiar with the matter have said. SoftBank is also part of a group of investors in talks for a stake of 14 percent to 17 percent in Uber Technologies Inc.

There remains an enormous gap between SoftBank’s market capitalization and the value of its equity holdings. Even with Thursday’s surge, the company’s market valuation is about 10.8 trillion yen ($96 billion), while its stakes in Sprint, Yahoo Japan Corp. and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. are worth more than 19 trillion yen.

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SoftBank shares had climbed 22 percent this year before today, boosted by Alibaba doubling its stock price over the same period. The stock has also benefited from a surge in Japanese equities, with the Nikkei 225 Stock Average closing Wednesday at its highest since 1996.

Source: Bloomberg Markets