Saudi’s PIF denies media report of loan backed by SoftBank investment

FILE PHOTO: A woman using a mobile phone walks past the logo of SoftBank Corp in Tokyo, Japan December 18, 2014. REUTERS/Toru Hanai

(Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund is not planning for or even considering a margin loan backed by its investment in SoftBank Group Corp’s (9984.T) Vision Fund, it said on Sunday in response to a media report.

Bloomberg News reported on Saturday that the $300 billion (£247.85 billion) Public Investment Fund (PIF) was planning to borrow about $10 billion by pledging some of its investment in the fund.

“PIF has ample liquidity and has not been engaged with anyone to raise margin loans against its Vision Fund stake”, the sovereign wealth fund said in an emailed statement.

SoftBank’s finances are being squeezed after a disastrous bet on co-working firm WeWork and souring portfolio bets on start-ups.

The Japanese company said last month it expected the $100 billion Vision Fund to book a loss of 1.8 trillion yen ($16.8 billion) due to the worsening performance of its tech bets, which will tip the group as a whole into its first loss for 15 years.

On Friday, PIF disclosed having bought minority stakes in major American companies including Boeing (BA.N), Facebook (FB.O) and Citigroup (C.N), giving it a portfolio of nearly $10 billion in U.S.-listed stocks.

Reporting by Kanishka Singh in Bengaluru and Saeed Azhar in Dubai;Editing by Elaine Hardcastle

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