SoftBank mobile unit plunges 15% after second biggest IPO in history

Published on: 20 Dec, 2018

SoftBank Inc.’s (OTC: SFTBY) IPO has flopped in its market debut. According to CNN Business, SoftBank’s shares fell by 15% in Tokyo on Wednesday. This resulted in losses of billions of dollars in market value.

The Company is one of Japan’s largest wireless carriers and SoftBank accrued about USD 23.5 Billion by listing a big chunk of their Company. This makes it Japan’s largest stock float, second only to Alibaba’s (NYSC: BABA) USD 25 Billion in New York in 2014.

Due to strong demand from investors, SoftBank continued to increase the number of shares that it was selling. However, the Company chose a wrong time to launch its IPO. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei Index has fallen 7% since the beginning of December and is down roughly 14% from its recent high in early October, per CNN.

SoftBank’s mobile business has also been suffering. On December 6th, the Company suffered an embarrassing service outage. This issue prompted SoftBank to review whether or not to remove equipment made by Chinese manufacturer Huawei from its network. This could potentially be a costly move for the company. The Executive Officer of Softbank’s mobile division, Ken Miyaguchi, said that poor market conditions were the main culprit behind their disappointing debut. He said that Softbank had planned the IPO for September or October, before delaying it until December.

Price wars between SoftBank and its competitors has created a sense of fear for investors. Japan’s biggest wireless carrier, NTT Docomo (DCMYY) intends to cut cell phone plan prices by as much as 40% next year after pressure from the Japanese government. SoftBank is expected to do the same.

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Nelson Cheng

Email: nelson@financialinsiders.com

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