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SoftBank shifts to foreign banks as borrowing soars

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The logo of SoftBank Group Corp is displayed at SoftBank World 2017 conference in Tokyo, Japan, July 20, 2017. REUTERS/Issei Kato

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  • Goldman Sachs among SoftBank's biggest lenders
  • Much of increase in borrowing funded by foreign banks

TOKYO, May 27 (Reuters) - SoftBank Group Corp's (9984.T) bank borrowing climbed by 42% in the year to March-end with the increase shouldered by foreign lenders, company filings showed on Thursday.

Borrowing from the conglomerate's principal lenders rose to 4.98 trillion yen ($46 billion) in the last business year, with main bank Mizuho Financial Group Inc (8411.T) the only Japanese lender remaining in the top three backers.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) and JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) are among SoftBank's biggest lenders, the filings showed, with the borrowing coming as the Japanese conglomerate builds its technology investing operations globally.

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SoftBank has experienced rapidly changing fortunes over the last year, with its stock price and portfolio valuations plummeting in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing the group into asset sales.

Chief Executive Masayoshi Son pledged to use cash reserves as a defence but with earnings rebounding and a recently completed share buyback driving stock-price recovery, the firm has expanded backing for its second Vision Fund to $30 billion.

($1 = 109.0800 yen)

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Reporting by Sam Nussey; Editing by Christopher Cushing

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