SoftBank unmasked as ‘Nasdaq whale’ that stoked tech rally

Financial Times (09/04/2020)
  • Japanese conglomerate SoftBank, notable for major investments in large tech startups (eg Uber), has been purchasing billions worth of call options in tech stocks.
  • Call options give investors the option to purchase a given stock at a pre-determined price in the future.
  • Over the last two weeks, US stock options trading activity has spiked to $335 billion (nominal), 3x the 2017-2019 average.
  • Motivation – Since SoftBank holds $2 billion stakes in Amazon, Alphabet, Microsoft and Tesla (each), it benefits from rising tech shares.