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Softbank shareholders: Who owns the most SFTBY stock?

By Mensholong Lepcha

Edited by Vanessa Kintu

15:43, 23 November 2022

A file photo shows SoftBank Corp's logo is pictured at a news conference in Tokyo, Japan
SoftBank Group is a Japan-based investment holding company – Photo: Shutterstock

Japanese investment firm SoftBank Group (SFTBY) is renowned for having an eye for spotting technology unicorns. The firm was an early investor in Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba (BABA) and has invested in notable companies such as Uber (UBER), Grab (GRAB), WeWork (WE), Slack (WORK) and DiDi Global (DIDIY).

SoftBank Group live chart

But who owns the most shares of SoftBank Group? Read on as we explore the tech investment giant’s shareholding structure and more below. 

What is Softbank Group?

SoftBank Group is a Japan-based investment holding company principally engaged in technology-based businesses. It was founded by Masayoshi Son in 1981 as a ‘software bank’. Today, the company describes itself as a “vision capitalist for the Information Revolution”.

The firm’s portfolio companies are in the software, internet, telecom, data and artificial intelligence (AI) sectors.

SoftBank Group’s primary investment vehicle is the SoftBank Vision Funds, which identifies and invests in so-called ‘unicorns’ in the AI sector. The company also sees its UK-based semiconductor chip-making unit ARM as a major growth driver. 

Other notable SoftBank Group holdings, as of November 2022, include Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba and telecoms T-Mobile and Deutsche Telekom.  

Investors should note the difference between SoftBank Group and SoftBank Corp, both of which are listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange (TSE). 

SoftBank Corp operates in the telecommunications sector in Japan and is a subsidiary of SoftBank Group which is a strategic holding company.

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SoftBank shareholders: Who owns the most of the Japanese tech investor?

SoftBank Group 5-year historical performance

Investors will find it useful to learn about SoftBank’s biggest shareholders as selling or buying activity from big shareholders has the potential to significantly affect the stock price.

So, who are the shareholders of SoftBank Group with the biggest stake in the tech-focused investment firm? 

According to the company’s website, SoftBank Group had 885,625 unique shareholders, as of September 2022. The total number of issued shares in the company amounted to over 4.78 billion and the total number of authorised shares amounted to over 8.01 billion. The top 10 SoftBank shareholders held over 60% of the company’s issued shares.

SoftBank Group Japan Corp was the largest shareholder of the company with a stake of over 1.91 billion shares amounting to about 40% of the total issued shares.

The Master Trust Bank of Japan and the Custody Bank of Japan followed with stakes amounting to about 10.5% and 3.7%, respectively, of total issued shares of SoftBank Group.

Other SoftBank major shareholders included State Street Bank West Client, SMBC Nikko Securities, JPMorgan Securities Japan, Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities, State Street Bank and Trust Company, and two units of JP Morgan Chase Bank. 

What about the types of shareholders of SoftBank? Official shareholder data revealed as of September 2022, individuals held about 23% of SoftBank Group.

Financial institutions held 16.3% of the company while foreign institutions and foreign individuals held 14.7% of the firm. Other companies held 42.5% of SoftBank Group. 3.4% of the company was held by financial instruments firms. 

Government and public bodies did not hold any stake in SoftBank Group.

Biggest institutional shareholders

In this section we take a deep dive into SoftBank Group’s three biggest institutional shareholders, as of September end 2022.

The Master Trust Bank of Japan

After the parent company SoftBank Group Japan Corp, The Master Trust Bank of Japan was the single largest shareholder of SoftBank Group with a stake of about 10%.

It was founded in 2000 as the first trust bank in Japan. The bank was formed through investments from Mitsubishi UFJ Trust & Banking Corporation, Nippon Life Insurance Company, Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Company and The Norinchukin Trust & Banking.

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The Master Trust Bank of Japan provides pension funds, investment trusts and financial institutions with asset administration services. As of March 2022, The Master Trust Bank of Japan had assets under management of about JPY572trn ($4.03trn).

Custody Bank of Japan

Custody Bank of Japan was the third largest shareholder of SoftBank Group, with a stake of 3.7%.

It is a trust bank established in July 2020 through the merger of three companies: Japan Trustee Services Bank, Trust & Custody Services Bank and JTC Holdings.

State Street Bank West Client

State Street Bank is an investment services provider that offers custody, accounting, fund administration, advisory and other investment solutions to asset managers, insurance companies, financial institutions and central banks.

The company is headquartered in Boston and has several branches across the globe, including offices in Fukuoka city and Tokyo in Japan.

State Street Bank West Client held about 1.25% of total issued shares of SoftBank Group, as of September end 2022.

Masayoshi Son

Masayoshi Son and SoftBank Group are synonymous with one another. The renowned Japanese investor founded the company as SoftBank Corp Japan in 1981. Son is chairman and CEO of the investment giant.

Son has been chairman of the board of directors of ARM since SoftBank Group acquired the firm in 2016. In addition, he is a member of the board at Z Holdings and SoftBank Corp.

According to the company’s website, Son owned over 460.16 million shares of SoftBank Group, as of 31 March 2022. Son also owned 2.4 million shares of SoftBank Corp, as of 23 June 2022.

The Bloomberg Billionaire Index claimed Son was the largest individual shareholder of SoftBank Group through direct stakes and holding companies. Son was worth over $12bn, as of 22 November 2022, according to the index.

Final thoughts: SoftBank Group shares faces tough conditions 

The slump in technology stock valuations following the start of a global monetary tightening cycle had adversely affected SoftBank Group’s tech-focused investment. 

On 22 November, SoftBank Group shares closed at JPY6,068, over 43% below the record high of JPY10,695 hit in March 2021.

In July 2022, Son struck a confident tone in the 2022 SoftBank Group Report, despite the weakness in the company share price over the past year:

“We take risks and invest in AI driven companies to help create a better future for people. Since our business is to increase the value of our holdings through such investments, it is only natural that our share price moves in proportion to our NAV [net asset value].

“We have grown alongside the Information Revolution since our founding. Thus, as internet traffic increases, in other words, as the Information Revolution progresses, NAV naturally grows.”

In its interim earnings results, SoftBank Group said NAV decreased to JPY16.7trn, as of 30 September 2022, compared to JPY25.7trn a year ago, primarily due to a fall in market valuations for its equity holding in Alibaba Group.

While reading about the top shareholders of Softbank will give readers valuable insight on the company, market participants are recommended to always do their own research before trading or investing.

It is important to remember that markets are extremely volatile and forecasts can be wrong. Keep in mind that past performance is no guarantee of future returns. And never trade money that you cannot afford to lose.

FAQs

How many Softbank shares are there?

According to the company’s website, as of September end 2022, the total number of issued shares in the company amounted to over 4.78 billion. The total number of authorised shares was over 8.01 billion.

How many shareholders does Softbank have?

According to the company’s website, SoftBank Group had 885,625 unique shareholders, as of September end 2022.

Who owns the Softbank company?

SoftBank Group Japan Corp was the largest shareholder of the company with a stake of over 1.91 billion shares, amounting to about 40% of the total shares issued.

The Bloomberg Billionaire Index said Masayoshi Son was the largest individual shareholder of SoftBank Group through direct stakes and holding companies.

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9984
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UBER
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The difference between trading assets and CFDs
The main difference between CFD trading and trading assets, such as commodities and stocks, is that you don’t own the underlying asset when you trade on a CFD.
You can still benefit if the market moves in your favour, or make a loss if it moves against you. However, with traditional trading you enter a contract to exchange the legal ownership of the individual shares or the commodities for money, and you own this until you sell it again.
CFDs are leveraged products, which means that you only need to deposit a percentage of the full value of the CFD trade in order to open a position. But with traditional trading, you buy the assets for the full amount. In the UK, there is no stamp duty on CFD trading, but there is when you buy stocks, for example.
CFDs attract overnight costs to hold the trades (unless you use 1-1 leverage), which makes them more suited to short-term trading opportunities. Stocks and commodities are more normally bought and held for longer. You might also pay a broker commission or fees when buying and selling assets direct and you’d need somewhere to store them safely.
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