FILE PHOTO: A woman using her smart phone walks outside a branch of SoftBank Corp in Tokyo, Japan, August 6, 2015. REUTERS/Yuya Shino/File Photo
A woman using her smart phone walks outside a branch of SoftBank Corp in Tokyo, Japan. The mobile business may sell a 30 per cent stake. /Yuya Shino/Reuters

Softbank Group considers IPO of mobile unit to raise $18bn



SoftBank Group plans to list its mobile phone business and raise some US$18 billion, the Nikkei newspaper said, a spin-off that would complete the Japanese telecoms con­glomerate's transformation into a global technology investor.

The parent will sell some 30 per cent of SoftBank. It plans to apply to the Tokyo Stock Exchange for the offering as early as spring, which falls between March and May, and aims to debut the shares in Tokyo and elsewhere, possibly London, around autumn, the news­paper reported, without citing any sources for the information.

The ¥2 trillion (Dh66.1bn) IPO would rival the ¥2.2tn 1987 listing of Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation in size, the Nikkei said, making it one of Japan's biggest initial public offerings.

SoftBank said yesterday that a listing of the business was among the options for its capital ­strategy, but that a definite decision on the issue was yet to be made.

The listing would aim to give the mobile phone unit more autonomy in a group that has become more of an international investment company in recent years, the newspaper said.

SoftBank would use the proceeds to invest in growth, such as buying into foreign information technology companies, the Nikkei said.

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SoftBank has been aggressively investing in tech companies worldwide, notably through its $98bn London-based Vision Fund, saying last month that a group it leads will buy a large number of shares of Uber Technologies in a deal that values the ride-services firm at $48bn.

“SoftBank’s future will focus less on the mobile-phone business and more on allocating cash to build the world’s largest portfolio of investments in future technologies and business models,” said Erik Gordon, a professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business.

“It makes sense to spin off the mobile-phone business using a public offering that would leave SoftBank in control and provide SoftBank with more cash to pursue its strategy of investing in companies with potentially high growth prospects,” he said. “It is a way of obtaining capital without adding debt or diluting SoftBank’s equity interests in the growth companies.”

A parent company normally must limit its stake in a subsidiary listed on the TSE First Section to less than 65 per cent, but the requirement can be eased if the unit also lists overseas, the Nikkei said.

INFO

Everton 0

Arsenal 0

Man of the Match: Djibril Sidibe (Everton)

THE SPECS

Engine: 3.9-litre twin-turbo V8

Transmission: seven-speed dual clutch

Power: 710bhp

Torque: 770Nm

Speed: 0-100km/h 2.9 seconds

Top Speed: 340km/h

Price: Dh1,000,885

On sale: now

Rock in a Hard Place: Music and Mayhem in the Middle East
Orlando Crowcroft
Zed Books

The Bio

Favourite place in UAE: Al Rams pearling village

What one book should everyone read: Any book written before electricity was invented. When a writer willingly worked under candlelight, you know he/she had a real passion for their craft

Your favourite type of pearl: All of them. No pearl looks the same and each carries its own unique characteristics, like humans

Best time to swim in the sea: When there is enough light to see beneath the surface

The burning issue

The internal combustion engine is facing a watershed moment – major manufacturer Volvo is to stop producing petroleum-powered vehicles by 2021 and countries in Europe, including the UK, have vowed to ban their sale before 2040. The National takes a look at the story of one of the most successful technologies of the last 100 years and how it has impacted life in the UAE.

Part three: an affection for classic cars lives on

Read part two: how climate change drove the race for an alternative 

Read part one: how cars came to the UAE

GOLF’S RAHMBO

- 5 wins in 22 months as pro
- Three wins in past 10 starts
- 45 pro starts worldwide: 5 wins, 17 top 5s
- Ranked 551th in world on debut, now No 4 (was No 2 earlier this year)
- 5th player in last 30 years to win 3 European Tour and 2 PGA Tour titles before age 24 (Woods, Garcia, McIlroy, Spieth)

Europe wide

Some of French groups are threatening Friday to continue their journey to Brussels, the capital of Belgium and the European Union, and to meet up with drivers from other countries on Monday.

Belgian authorities joined French police in banning the threatened blockade. A similar lorry cavalcade was planned for Friday in Vienna but cancelled after authorities prohibited it.

All The Light We Cannot See

Creator: Steven Knight

Stars: Mark Ruffalo, Hugh Laurie, Aria Mia Loberti

Rating: 1/5 

Australia tour of Pakistan

March 4-8: First Test, Rawalpindi

March 12-16: Second Test, Karachi

March 21-25: Third Test, Lahore

March 29: First ODI, Rawalpindi

March 31: Second ODI, Rawalpindi

April 2: Third ODI, Rawalpindi

April 5: T20I, Rawalpindi

Anti-semitic attacks

The annual report by the Community Security Trust, which advises the Jewish community on security , warned on Thursday that anti-Semitic incidents in Britain had reached a record high.

It found there had been 2,255 anti-Semitic incidents reported in 2021, a rise of 34 per cent from the previous year.

The report detailed the convictions of a number of people for anti-Semitic crimes, including one man who was jailed for setting up a neo-Nazi group which had encouraged “the eradication of Jewish people” and another who had posted anti-Semitic homemade videos on social media.

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: CarbonSifr
Started: 2022
Based: Dubai
Founders: Onur Elgun, Mustafa Bosca and Muhammed Yildirim
Sector: Climate tech
Investment stage: $1 million raised in seed funding

The chef's advice

Troy Payne, head chef at Abu Dhabi’s newest healthy eatery Sanderson’s in Al Seef Resort & Spa, says singles need to change their mindset about how they approach the supermarket.

“They feel like they can’t buy one cucumber,” he says. “But I can walk into a shop – I feed two people at home – and I’ll walk into a shop and I buy one cucumber, I’ll buy one onion.”

Mr Payne asks for the sticker to be placed directly on each item, rather than face the temptation of filling one of the two-kilogram capacity plastic bags on offer.

The chef also advises singletons not get too hung up on “organic”, particularly high-priced varieties that have been flown in from far-flung locales. Local produce is often grown sustainably, and far cheaper, he says.

The Land between Two Rivers: Writing in an Age of Refugees
Tom Sleigh, Graywolf Press

Women & Power: A Manifesto

Mary Beard

Profile Books and London Review of Books 

TOUCH RULES

Touch is derived from rugby league. Teams consist of up to 14 players with a maximum of six on the field at any time.

Teams can make as many substitutions as they want during the 40 minute matches.

Similar to rugby league, the attacking team has six attempts - or touches - before possession changes over.

A touch is any contact between the player with the ball and a defender, and must be with minimum force.

After a touch the player performs a “roll-ball” - similar to the play-the-ball in league - stepping over or rolling the ball between the feet.

At the roll-ball, the defenders have to retreat a minimum of five metres.

A touchdown is scored when an attacking player places the ball on or over the score-line.

How Voiss turns words to speech

The device has a screen reader or software that monitors what happens on the screen

The screen reader sends the text to the speech synthesiser

This converts to audio whatever it receives from screen reader, so the person can hear what is happening on the screen

A VOISS computer costs between $200 and $250 depending on memory card capacity that ranges from 32GB to 128GB

The speech synthesisers VOISS develops are free

Subsequent computer versions will include improvements such as wireless keyboards

Arabic voice in affordable talking computer to be added next year to English, Portuguese, and Spanish synthesiser

Partnerships planned during Expo 2020 Dubai to add more languages

At least 2.2 billion people globally have a vision impairment or blindness

More than 90 per cent live in developing countries

The Long-term aim of VOISS to reach the technology to people in poor countries with workshops that teach them to build their own device

COMPANY PROFILE

Name: Haltia.ai
Started: 2023
Co-founders: Arto Bendiken and Talal Thabet
Based: Dubai, UAE
Industry: AI
Number of employees: 41
Funding: About $1.7 million
Investors: Self, family and friends

Director: Nag Ashwin

Starring: Prabhas, Saswata Chatterjee, Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, Shobhana

Rating: ★★★★

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through www.etihadarena.ae and www.ticketmaster.ae.

The Genius of Their Age

Author: S Frederick Starr
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Pages: 290
Available: January 24

Dr Amal Khalid Alias revealed a recent case of a woman with daughters, who specifically wanted a boy.

A semen analysis of the father showed abnormal sperm so the couple required IVF.

Out of 21 eggs collected, six were unused leaving 15 suitable for IVF.

A specific procedure was used, called intracytoplasmic sperm injection where a single sperm cell is inserted into the egg.

On day three of the process, 14 embryos were biopsied for gender selection.

The next day, a pre-implantation genetic report revealed four normal male embryos, three female and seven abnormal samples.

Day five of the treatment saw two male embryos transferred to the patient.

The woman recorded a positive pregnancy test two weeks later. 

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I/O: HDMI, ethernet (128GB model only); Siri remote (charging via USB-C); accessibility features

Video: SDR/Dolby Vision/HDR10+ up to 2160p @ 60fps

Peripherals: Compatible with HD/UHD TVs via HDMI, Bluetooth keyboards, AirPods

Photo: GIF, HEIF, JPEG, TIFF

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In the box: TV 4K, Siri remote, power cord

Price: Dh529, Wi-Fi only; Dh599, Wi-Fi + ethernet