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Dubai fund takes stake in Sony

26 ноября 2007

Dubai International Capital, a private equity company owned by the ruler of Dubai, said on Monday it had made a ”substantial investment” in Sony, boosting the shares of the Japanese electronics and entertainment group.

The value was not available, but Dubai International Capital said in July it might buy stakes of up to $1.5bn in one or two publicly listed companies in Japan.Dubai fund takes stake in Sony

A $1.5bn investment would be equivalent of a 3 per cent stake in Sony, which has a market value of Y5,520bn ($50.9bn).

This is Dubai International Capital's first investment in a Japanese company.

The announcement followed a newspaper report that the Chinese government's investment arm was likely to pick up shares in Tokyo, stoking hopes that foreign investors may be stepping up investments in Japan, which briefly boosted the yen.

"I personally have not heard overseas investors making positive comments on Japanese stocks in recent months and recent years," said Kazuya Nakamura, deputy general manager at Norinchukin Zenkyoren Asset Management.

"These could be signs that [foreign investors' views on Japanese stocks] are changing."

The report by the Nikkei business daily that China's new sovereign wealth fund, which manages about $200bn of foreign reserves, was likely to invest in Japanese stocks gave a brief boost to the yen and lifted Tokyo stocks.

Dubai International Capital did not disclose the size or timing of its Sony investment, but anyone who buys more than 5 per cent of a listed company is required to report the stake to regulators within five business days.

After the announcement, Sony shares closed up 4.6 per cent at Y5,500 on Monday, outperforming the Tokyo stock market's electrical machinery index IELEC, which rose 1.95 per cent.

"Whilst the restructuring process at Sony is well advanced, the recent successful listing of Sony Financial Holdings is evidence of management's ongoing strategy of focusing on capital efficiency and cash generation," Sameer Al Ansari, Dubai International Capital chief executive said in a statement.

Sony, which is in the final year of its three-year turnround plan led by chief executive Sir Howard Stringer, took Sony Financial public in October in its latest step to focus on its core operations such as the consumer electronics business.

The maker of the PlayStation 3 game console and Bravia flat TVs said last month it swung to a quarterly operating profit thanks to strong sales of PCs and digital cameras and a weaker yen, and it raised its full-year forecast.

The Tokyo-based company was already owned 52.6 percent by foreign investors as of the end of September.

Other recent purchases of Dubai International Capital, which manages about $12bn of assets, include German-based speciality alumina products company Almatis and a 9.9 per cent stake in US hedge fund Och-Ziff Capital.

Источник: Financial Times

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