SoftBank's chief executive broke his silence over the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi on Monday, saying the incident could have some impact on the firm's $100 billion Vision Fund.
The Japanese tech investment giant has poured billions into start-ups in Silicon Valley and around the world through this investment fund. The fund is anchored by Saudi money, with the country's sovereign Public Investment Fund (PIF) contributing $45 billion.
"We don't yet know the clear understanding of the case so we would like to be careful watching the outcome," SoftBank's Masayoshi Son said via a translator at an investor briefing following the release of the company's second-quarter results Monday.
Son said he had not heard of any companies saying they would not want to accept investments from the Vision Fund due to its relationship with Saudi Arabia's PIF, however he said that "there may be some impact" on the fund's investments.
SoftBank on Monday said that its July-September operating profit rose to 705.7 billion Japanese yen ($6.23 billion), an almost 80 percent jump from the 395.6 billion yen profit it reported in the previous year. Its bumper revenues have been helped by higher valuations on the bets it has made on tech companies.
Son said he had met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to raise his concerns about the incident. When asked by a reporter about what he had told him, Son replied the crown prince had said: "This was not something which should have happened."
SoftBank's boss declined to attend a major business conference in Saudi Arabia, the Future Investment Initiative, last month, but he said that he did visit the country to meet with officials and raise his concerns about Khashoggi's death.