SoftBank's CEO Masayoshi Son says the Japanese firm should benefit from President Donald Trump's promised deregulation of the American economy and that he is keeping his options open about U.S. telecoms unit Sprint. David Pollard reports.
It's headline news the world over, but at his conference in Tokyo, SoftBank's Masayoshi Son made it clear Donald Trump's immigration ban was exactly what he didn't want to talk about. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) SOFTBANK GROUP CORP CEO, MASAYOSHI SON, SAYING: "Today is Softbank's earnings conference, so I'd like to avoid commenting on matters, especially about politics, that aren't directly related to our core business." On the face of it, core business is something to talk about. In the first full quarter since SoftBank paid 32 billion dollars for the UK's most valuable tech company, ARM, operating profit is up 71 per cent. At 2.63 billion dollars in Q3, it also beat estimates. US telco Sprint - in which it holds 83 per cent - trimmed its losses - while gaining subscribers. And politics did also get a mention - at least in terms of how they could be good for business. (SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) SOFTBANK GROUP CORP CEO, MASAYOSHI SON, SAYING: "President Trump has publicly spoken about de-regulation, so I think in terms of business development, it will be easier for us." Over 100 tech companies - Apple, Google, Microsoft and others - are opposing Trump's immigration ban. SoftBank, though, has already made a massive commitment to the US. The tech and telcos giant pledging a 50 billion dollar investment there - and 50,000 new jobs - when Son met Trump in early December.