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Shares in SoftBank mobile unit open more than 7% down

2018-12-19T021252Z_2085511456_RC19997DAA40_RTRMADP_3_SOFTBANK-LISTING.JPG
Shares in the mobile unit of Japanese technology giant SoftBank resumed steep declines Thursday on their second trading day after a bruising debut saw stocks close 14.5 per cent lower.

[TOKYO] Shares in the mobile unit of Japanese technology giant SoftBank resumed steep declines Thursday on their second trading day after a bruising debut saw stocks close 14.5 per cent lower.

In early exchanges, shares in SoftBank Corp were down 7.6 per cent at 1,183 yen as heavy selling dominated at the opening bell. The IPO price was 1,500 yen.

The shares were 8.3 per cent down at their lowest level before bouncing slightly. That was 22 per cent below the IPO offering price.

The sharp falls came after the firm raised some US$23.5 billion in an initial public offering that was Japan's biggest and the second-largest globally after Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba's debut in 2014.

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The money raised will swell the coffers of CEO Masayoshi Son's Vision Fund, which has invested in some of the hottest tech firms, including Uber and WeWork.

Analysts said the stock had underperformed for several reasons: a weaker market in general, concerns over increased official intervention in the Japanese mobile sector, and a humiliating technical glitch in the run-up to the IPO.

Speaking to reporters after Wednesday's stock plunge, Ken Miyauchi, CEO of the SoftBank Corp mobile division, acknowledged it was "unfortunate that the share price ended down".

"But this is only the beginning. Many things will happen. We are off to a tough start of our journey... but I see this as a new start for our business," Mr Miyauchi told reporters.

AFP