Japan’s SoftBank plans to sell $7.9 billion in Alibaba stock to cut debt

The transaction marks the first sale of shares in the Chinese e-commerce giant by its largest shareholder since SoftBank began investing in the company in 2000, and will reduce its stake to around 28 percent from 32.2 percent. Investors have been worried about finances at the Japanese internet and telecoms company since its 2013 acquisition of a majority stake in No. 4 U.S. wireless carrier Sprint Corp which has been burning cash amid fierce competition for subscribers. Hideaki Tanaka, an analyst at Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley, said the move would be positive for SoftBank's shares.

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