November 5, 2018 / 6:29 AM / 10 months ago

Japan's SoftBank reports profit surge on Vision Fund strength

FILE PHOTO: The logo of SoftBank Group Corp is displayed at SoftBank World 2017 conference in Tokyo, Japan, July 20, 2017. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp (9984.T) on Monday reported a surge in second-quarter profit, helped by higher valuations on high-tech bets just as doubts grow over the firm’s dependence on Saudi Arabia funds.

SoftBank’s July-September operating profit rose to 705.7 billion yen ($6.23 billion) compared with 395.6 billion yen a year earlier. The year-earlier figure used previous accounting standards.

SoftBank and its Saudi Arabia-backed Vision Fund - which after raising more than $93 billion last year is the world’s largest private equity fund - is recording higher valuations on high-tech bets such as on ride-hailing firm Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL] and General Motors Co’s (GM.N) Cruise self-driving vehicle unit.

For investors, however, SoftBank’s ties to Saudi Arabia have become a source of unease since the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

($1 = 113.2500 yen)

Reporting by Sam Nussey; Editing by Christopher Cushing

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