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SoftBank Group CEO Son Masayoshi presents earnings figures. Photo: Alessandro Di Ciommo/NurPhoto/Getty Images

SoftBank Group Wednesday morning provided more info on Vision Fund 2, while reporting second-quarter earnings that smashed analyst expectations.

Why it matters: The big news was that SVF2 could begin investing as early as next month, with the trigger being when the original Vision Fund is 85% invested. It was at 68% through the end of June.

  • We also learned that quarterly operating income for SVF1 climbed 66% year-over-year to around $3.8 billion, largely on valuation increases for portfolio companies like OYO, Slack and DoorDash. But it also recorded $1.8 billion in unrealized losses from its stake in Uber, which continues to trade below its IPO price.

SoftBank chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son also was asked about the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, and basically pulled the old "hand-over-eyes, fingers-in-years" routine:

"[I'm] not in a position to know all the details of the incident and, on the other hand, we have to continue with the efforts of AI and the technological evolution to bring benefits to the people, and we are going to make steady steps to achieve that goal."

What they're saying: Son also said he has no plans to comment further on the topic, except that SoftBank continues to be in talks with Saudi's sovereign wealth fund for a commitment into SVF2.

  • Word is that Saudi and UAE infusions could bring in a combined $60 billion, which theoretically could be on top of the $108 billion already announced.
  • But remember that the announced money is just memoranda of understanding, and could be pared back if the Middle East money comes through. One source close to the talks says he wouldn't be surprised if SVF2 isn't ultimately sized close to the original's $100 billion.
  • One big question remains who the big, unnamed investors are in that $108 billion of MOUs. They likely represent a very large chunk, given that we hear at least one of the announced names committed to invest less than $1 billion.

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - World

Biden reviews U.S. arms deals with Saudi Arabia and UAE

Trump struck several large arms deals with Mohammed bin Salman (L) and Saudi Arabia. Photo: Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images

The Biden administration has put on hold two big arms deals with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates which were approved in the final weeks of the Trump administration, a State Department official told Axios.

Why it matters: The sales of F-35 jets and attack drones to the UAE and a large supply of munitions to Saudi Arabia will be paused pending a review. That signals a major policy shift from the Trump era, and may herald sharp tensions with both Gulf countries.

Trump supporter found with pipe bombs accused of plot to attack Democrats

Five improvised explosive devices that the FBI says "were fully operational and could cause great bodily harm or injury if handled improperly." Photo: FBI/Justice Department

The FBI believes California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) and the Bay Area headquarters of Twitter and Facebook were targets of a man facing federal explosives charges, according to a criminal complaint.

Driving the news: Prosecutors charged Ian Benjamin Rogers after finding weapons including five pipe bombs, 49 guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition following a Jan. 15 search of his Napa County home and auto repair business. His alleged goal was to ensure former President Trump remained in office.

7 hours ago - Health

Fauci: COVID vaccine rollout needs to prioritize people of color

Anthony Fauci. Photo: Alex Wong via Getty Images

Infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci highlighted the need to address racial disparities in the COVID-19 vaccination process, per an interview with The New England Journal of Medicine on Wednesday.

What he’s saying: "I think that's the one thing we really got to be careful of. We don't want in the beginning ... most of the people who are getting it are otherwise, well, middle-class white people."