SoftBank's Son promises king to help Saudi economy via investment

JAPAN NOW

Masayoshi Son, chairman of SoftBank Group Corp., promised King Salman bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia on Tuesday that the Japanese telecom conglomerate will help the Middle East country prosper economically through investment.

Speaking to reporters after their meeting in Tokyo, Son quoted the king as telling him he is greatly looking forward to the investment move. With a Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund, SoftBank Group is set to launch an investment fund that could reach up to 10 trillion yen ($87.1 billion).

Son said he gave the 81-year-old king the company's humanoid robot "Pepper."

The talks came a day after Japan and Saudi Arabia announced a plan to create special economic zones in the Mideast country to promote investment by Japanese companies.

Through the investment fund, SoftBank Group envisions investing in companies with cutting edge Internet-related technologies. The Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia is considering contributing as much as $45 billion to the fund over a five-year period.

==Kyodo

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