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SoftBank to repurchase $1.9 billion of corporate bonds

Kitco News

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp (9984.T) said on Monday it will repurchase up to 200 billion yen ($1.9 billion) of its domestic unsecured corporate bonds from June 30 to July 17, part of its plan to pay down debt.

SoftBank Chief Executive Masayoshi Son is undertaking an asset monetisation programme to raise $41 billion to fund share buybacks and reduce debt, following a series of soured tech investments that drove the group to a record annual loss.

The tech conglomerate also said it expects to record a gain of around 600 billion yen ($5.6 billion) in the April-June quarter on the sale of part of its stake in T-Mobile U.S. (TMUS.O) and the revaluation of the shares it still holds.

A derivative liability from call options received by the wireless carrier’s top shareholder Deutsche Telekom (DTEGn.DE) is not included in that figure.

SoftBank’s leveraged balance sheet has given it an oversized presence in Japan’s junk bond market, supported by a loyal retail investor base for a household name that also owns Japan’s third largest wireless carrier.

The massive asset sale plan has caused concern among credit-rating firms, with Moody’s revising its outlook last week - reigniting a spat with SoftBank, which in March asked for its rating to be withdrawn.

Reporting by Sam Nussey; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Lincoln Feast.

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