Monex Group’s online brokerage sold out 500 million yen ($4.6 million) of SoftBank bonds to Japanese individuals in less than three minutes, a sign of strong demand for the conglomerate’s debt despite skepticism about some of the firm’s recent investments.
Tokyo-based Monex started selling the bonds at 9 am on Monday and ran out at 9:02:26, said Shinichiro Yamada, general manager in the firm’s products department. That’s despite a fierce typhoon that hit the nation that day, disrupting trains and airplane schedules. It takes the brokerage about two weeks to sell out on average.
SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son has relied heavily on local investors, particularly individuals, to raise capital as he has expanded into wireless services and, more recently, investments in start-ups like Uber and WeWork. SoftBank is raising a total of 400 billion yen in the most recent bond sale by Monex and other brokerages, pricing the seven-year notes at a 1.38 per cent interest rate. It sold another 500 billion yen of bonds in April.
“The quick sellout, despite the typhoon, shows how strong the demand is for higher interest rates,” Yamada said in an interview.