SoftBank Group suspended its multi-billion dollar buyback programme in August, bringing to a halt the significant share price gains that Masayoshi Son’s conglomerate has largely enjoyed since the plan and asset sales were announced earlier this year.
In a filing to the stock exchange Tuesday, SoftBank said it hadn’t bought back stock between August 4 and the end of that month, after previously announcing it had acquired shares on August 3. It blamed “nonpublic facts” around insider trading for the inaction, a likely allusion to its mega-deal to sell its Arm chip division for $40 billion to Nvidia, announced Monday.
Without the support of the buyback, shares were basically flat in August, rising just 0.05 per cent. SoftBank shares have gained every month this year since the coronavirus pandemic-fueled a market collapse in March. That month, it announced plans to launch asset sales and also scoop up stock worth as much as $23.6 billion during the fiscal year. SoftBank shares surged by more than 20 per cent in July. The stock hit its 2020 high of 6,932 yen on August 3 — the last day the company purchased shares, according a statement to the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Tuesday.