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Softbank To Invest In Indonesia's New Capital

Japan’s SoftBank SFTBY, -0.34%   is offering to invest $30 billion to $40 billion in the development of a new Indonesian capital, an official said Friday.

The billionaire founder and chief executive of SoftBank Group Corp., Masayoshi Son, hinted at partnering with the Indonesian government to fund the project when he met President Joko Widodo last week in the capital, Jakarta.

Son and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair have been included in the steering committee to oversee the construction of the new capital city on Borneo island that would be led by Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

Indonesian Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Pandjaitan told a news briefing that SoftBank was offering around $30 billion to $40 billion, though it was not immediately clear what project the Japanese conglomerate would invest in specifically.

After meeting Widodo last week, Son told reporters that he was interested in supporting “a new smart city, the newest technology, a clean city and a lot of artificial intelligence.”

Widodo announced last August that Indonesia’s capital will move from overcrowded, sinking and polluted Jakarta to a site in sparsely populated East Kalimantan province on Borneo island, known for rainforests and orangutans.

The capital’s relocation to a 256,000-hectare (632,580-acre) site almost four times the size of Jakarta will cost an estimated 466 trillion rupiah ($34 billion). The government is set to begin the construction later this year.

Investors from Asia, the Middle East, the U.S. and China have shown interest in developing the city, Pandjaitan said.


(source: Marketwatch)

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