Softbank trims stake in major US tech stocks; sells Google, Facebook, Microsoft shares in Q1

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Updated: August 11, 2021 3:23 PM

SoftBank has sold stake in leading US technology companies during the April-June quarter, according to the company’s quarterly report.

SoftbankAt the end of the June quarter, the value of SoftBank’s stock holdings was down at $13.6 billion with most of the big names of the US technology industry going missing from the portfolio. (Image: REUTERS)

SoftBank has sold its stake in leading US technology companies during the April-June quarter, according to the company’s quarterly report. Shares of Google’s parent company Alphabet, Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook, Microsoft, and streaming service Netflix were sold during the quarter by Masayoshi Son’s company. SoftBank also trimmed its stake in Amazon during the quarter. The Tokyo based multinational conglomerate, SoftBank, invests in listed stocks through its arm SB Northstar trading. During the first three months of this fiscal year, the tech-heavy NASDAQ index jumped nearly 20%.

Booking profits in US tech stock

SoftBank’s quarterly portfolio holding report for the three months ended March 31, 2021, showed that the company held significant stocks of Netflix, Facebook, Microsoft, Alphabet, Adobe, and Salesforce. However, the latest quarterly update for the months ending June 30, 2021, showed that all the above-mentioned stocks were missing from the portfolio. 

At the end of March this year, SoftBank held Facebook shares worth $3.1 billion. Masayoshi Son’s company-owned Adobe shares worth $10 million, Alphabet shares worth $575 million, Microsoft stock worth $1.03 billion, and Netflix shares worth $382 million. SoftBank also owned Salesforce worth $385 million and PayPal stocks worth $1.18 billion. Overall SoftBank’s stake in all these firms stood at $6.7 billion at the end of March this year. The company’s overall holding in the listed company was valued at $19.9 billion. 

At the end of the June quarter, the value of SoftBank’s stock holdings was down at $13.6 billion with most of the big names of the US technology industry going missing from the portfolio. However, Amazon was the only big technology company that SoftBank continues to hold on its portfolio at the end of the latest quarter. SoftBank owned Amazon shares worth $6.2 billion at the end of April. The same has gone down to $5.65 billion at the end of June this year.

SoftBank’s India investmentss

In India, Softbank has invested in numerous startups through its vision fund. These include Delhivery, FirstCry, Flipkart, Grofers, InMobi, Lenskart, Meesho, Ola, Oyo, Paytm, Policybazaar, Unacademy, Whatfix, and Swiggy. SoftBank has invested in leading internet companies based out of India — a theme that was largely missing so far from Dalal Street until Zomato’s listing recently. 

NASDAQ Whale

SoftBank was earlier found out to be the NASDAQ Whale that had been pumping money into US technology companies. The NASDAQ Whale was believed to be behind large derivative bets on leading technology stocks listed on the NASDAQ index, The Financial Times reported. SoftBank is believed to have taken large bets on technology stocks such as Facebook, Tesla, Amazon, and Microsoft. This move by SoftBank was believed to be behind the mega rally in US tech stocks in 2020.

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