SoftBank Group Corp. plans to issue its biggest-ever yen bond in a test of whether individual investors will continue to lap up notes of one of the world’s most indebted firms during a time of market turbulence.
Billionaire Masayoshi Son’s technology conglomerate is marketing ¥550 billion ($4.8 billion) of seven-year subordinated notes, and the proceeds will be used to repay debt. The deal comes as signs that the Federal Reserve is turning more hawkish weigh on growth stocks with high valuations. SoftBank’s own shares plunged 33% last year, the most in 15 years.
A successful bond sale would underscore how Japanese individual investors can’t get enough of SoftBank’s notes even with the company’s heavy debt and a record loss at its Vision Fund unit for the fiscal second quarter. The losses at its investment arm were a result of a decline in the value of its holdings including Chinese ride-hailing giant Didi Global Inc. and Korean e-commerce firm Coupang Inc.
SoftBank has been the single-biggest issuer in the Japanese corporate bond market in the past decade, raising more than ¥6 trillion with the bulk of the funds coming from individual investors. The company has more than ¥400 billion of bond repayments due next month, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Its latest yen bonds are scheduled to price on Jan. 20, and the firm has given a range of 2.15％ to 2.75％ for the coupon, according to a filing from the company on Friday.
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