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Photo illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios. Photo: Yoshikazu Tsuno/Getty Images

SoftBank and its Vision Fund made a comeback this past quarter. But chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son has already moved on to a new project: a $550 million vehicle for investing in blue-chip public tech stocks like Facebook, Amazon and Apple.

Why it matters: This is part of Son’s ongoing plan to transform SoftBank Group into an investment company.

  • "By having cash on hand, we will be able to enhance our defense power," Son said during Tuesday’s earnings presentation.
  • To make the point further, SoftBank Group will no longer report operating profit, a metric Son says isn't as relevant for an investing business. (Though some reporters seemed unconvinced during Tuesday's presentation.)

By the numbers: SoftBank Group posted a $12 billion net profit for quarter ending in June.

  • SoftBank is also 95% through its asset monetization program (¥4.3 trillion out of ¥4.5 trillion, or $40.4 billion out of $42.3 billion), which it thought would take a year.

Other updates from SoftBank’s latest earnings report:

  • ARM: Son confirmed that SoftBank is evaluating selling a stake in the chip company or an IPO, though he declined to name potential buyers.
  • Vision Fund: After reporting an $18 billion loss last quarter, the Vision Fund is back in the black, with an investment gain of $2.8 billion for this quarter. Son also said that "five or six companies" in its portfolio are currently preparing to go public, though he didn’t name them (of course).

Go deeper

Felix Salmon, author of Capital
Nov 1, 2020 - Economy & Business

The fall of an empire

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The decline of ExxonMobil has been remarkable in its magnitude and unexpectedness.

Why it matters: While all major oil companies are facing troubles, Exxon has fallen the farthest, in large part because it has made the biggest bets on oil and gas — and the smallest bets on renewable energy.

Updated 54 mins ago - Politics & Policy

National Guard chief: Pentagon's "unusual" Jan. 6 restrictions led to 3-hour delay

William Walker, commanding general of the D.C. National Guard, testified Wednesday that a three-hour delay in approval for National Guard assistance during the Jan. 6 Capitol attack was exacerbated by "unusual" restrictions on his authorities by Pentagon leadership.

Why it matters: Walker testified that if Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy had not prohibited him in a Jan. 5 memo from using the National Guard's "Quick Reaction Force" without authorization, he would have "immediately" sent troops to the Capitol after receiving a "frantic call" from then-Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund.

1 hour ago - World

U.S.-Iran nuclear diplomacy is going nowhere fast

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Iran's cool response to the Biden administration's push for diplomatic engagement, along with rising tensions in the region, makes clear that salvaging the 2015 nuclear deal may be far more difficult than many had anticipated.

The state of play: Both the U.S. and Iran have entered the diplomatic dance, but it seems to be moving in circles.