Swiss Re shares climb on Softbank talks news

Swiss Re shares are trading in positive territory Thursday, following news it is in talks with Softbank to sell a minority stake to the Japanese business.

Swiss Re shares climb on Softbank talks news

Swiss Re shares are in the green Thursday, as investors are upbeat on news Japanese bank Softbank is in talks with the Swiss reinsurer to buy a minority stake in the business. Softbank is reported to be looking for a stake of less than 33% in Swiss Re.

By 1045 BST, Swiss Re shares were 4.10% higher at CHF93.88 – off the highs of CHF96.10 it hit at the opening bell. Softbank shares also ended the Asian trading session in the green, rising 0.98% to JPY8,773.

Swiss Re confirms discussions

Swiss Re issued a press release late Wednesday confirming it was in talks with Japan’s Softbank.

“Swiss Re informs that it is engaged in preliminary discussions with SoftBank Group Corp, ("SoftBank") regarding a potential minority investment in Swiss Re,” the press release states.

“Discussions are at a very early stage. There is no certainty that any transaction will be agreed, nor as to the terms, timing, or form of any transaction,” said.

Swiss Re is one of the biggest reinsurers in the world and has been in operation for over 150 years.

The Swiss company will post its latest earnings results towards the end of February. The likelihood is they will be weighed down by the hurricanes that hit the US and Caribbean around September 2017.

Softbank broadens investment plans

This latest potential investment for Softbank comes as the Japanese company is working to further diversify its growth plans.

Softbank already owns stakes in companies including:

  • US telecoms firm, Sprint.
  • Alibaba.
  • Uber.
  • Real estate tech firm Compass.
  • Dog walking start-up Wag.

Softbank’s CEO, Masayoshi Son, recently said the investments are part of his plans to secure the long-term growth and health of Softbank for the “next 300 years”.

Softbank reported its latest earnings results Wednesday, which showed profits in the final three months of 2017 – the company’s Q3 fiscal quarter – surged to JPY912.3 billion from JPY80.3 billion in the same period a year earlier.

Softbank also announced it plans a share offering of its Japanese telecoms business, to raise more cash for further investments.

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