Japan’s SoftBank to invest up to $25bn in Saudi

Ties between SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman have deepened this year



Masayoshi Son, chairman and CEO of SoftBank Group Corp

Japanese technology firm SoftBank is planning to invest up to $25bn in Saudi Arabia over the next three to four years, according to reports.

Bloomberg cited sources as confirming the plans, which include an investment of as much as $15bn in the kingdom’s $500bn mega city NEOM.

Other avenues for the funds include up to $10bn in state-controlled Saudi Electricity Co as it seeks to diversify into renewables.

SoftBank companies will also open offices in NEOM, according to the report.

Ties between SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman have deepened this year after the sovereign fund he chairs, the Public Investment Fund, agreed to invest up to $45bn in SoftBank’s technology-focussed Vision Fund.

Read: Saudi/Abu Dhabi-backed SoftBank fund closes with $93bn of capital

On top of a memorandum to invest in Saudi Electric unveiled last month, SoftBank is also partnering with the kingdom on a robotics initiative.

Read: Saudi sovereign fund, SoftBank partner on robotics initiative

The NEOM project is a 26,500-square-kilometre-business zone stretching from Suadi Arabia into Egypt and Jordan.

It will focus on industries including energy and water, biotechnology, food, advanced manufacturing and entertainment.