Softbank bets heavily on option purchases, primarily in tech sector - sources

FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: The logo of SoftBank Group Corp is displayed at SoftBank World 2017 conference in Tokyo, Japan, July 20, 2017. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo

(Reuters) - SoftBank Group Corp made significant option purchases in the U.S. stock market in recent weeks as a way of temporarily investing some of its proceeds from asset sales, people familiar with the matter said on Friday.

In August, SoftBank Chief Executive Masayoshi Son had announced a new investment management subsidiary that would park excess cash from a massive asset sale program in liquid stocks.

So far, SoftBank has spent roughly $10 billion buying shares. It has also spent more buying derivatives in U.S. stocks, the sources said. The Financial Times first reported on these derivative purchases on Friday.

A SoftBank spokeswoman declined to comment.

SoftBank has already built a stake worth around $1.2 billion in e-commerce giant Inc, according to regulatory filings.

In addition to Amazon, the Japanese tech conglomerate has built stakes in Netflix Inc, Tesla Inc, Microsoft Corp and Alphabet Inc, according to the filings.

In total, SoftBank has injected roughly $4 billion building up these stakes.

Reporting by Greg Roumeliotis in New York and Anirban Sen in Bengaluru; Editing by Tom Brown