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SoftBank Corp. Shares Tumble In Tokyo IPO Debut


Shares of SoftBank Corp., the mobile subsidiary of Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group Corp. (SFTBF.PK), fell more than 14 percent in their trading debut Wednesday on the Tokyo Stock Exchange. The company's initial public offering or IPO is the largest in Japan and the second-largest in the world.

The shares opened at 1,463 yen before falling to end the day at 1,282 yen, down 14.5 percent from its offering price of 1,500 yen. The closing stock price gave the company a market capitalization of 6.14 trillion yen.

The IPO raked in 2.6 trillion yen, or $23 billion, for SoftBank's parent company SoftBank Group, making it the world's biggest IPO after Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group's (BABA) $25 billion IPO in 2014.

However, the IPO's disappointing start comes amid volatility in the financial markets due to intensifying fears of a global economic slowdown.

The listing of SoftBank's shares also came about two weeks after a service outage that impacted a large number of customers and amid concerns about its use of equipment made by Chinese tech giant Huawei, which faces restrictions or bans in other countries due to security concerns.

SoftBank, Japan's third-largest mobile carrier, has about 33 million mobile subscribers. For the year ended March, the company reported net profit of 412 billion yen and revenue of 3.58 trillion yen.

The parent company, SoftBank Group expanded in Japan with telecommunications as its main business.

However, under Chief Executive Masayoshi Son, it is now more of a technology investment company following the acquisition of U.S. mobile carrier Sprint Corp. (S) in 2013 and UK-based chip designer ARM Holdings plc (ARM.L, ARMH) in 2016, in addition to creating the $100 billion Vision Fund.

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