Tech

SoftBank shares close down 17% in biggest one-day fall

Key Points
  • Shares of SoftBank Group  closed down 17% on Thursday in their biggest one-day fall, hammered by investor skepticism over the outlook for tech bets, such as office sharing firm WeWork and ridehailer Uber.
  • As economic gloom grows over a coronavirus outbreak, SoftBank racked up the second biggest fall in the benchmark Nikkei 225 index, breaking the 3,000-yen level to close at 2,687 yen.
  • The one-day fall is greater than during the bursting of the dot-com bubble, which evaporated most of Chief Executive Officer Masayoshi Son's wealth, as his plans to build a tech investing empire via the $100 billion Vision Fund stutter.
Corp. Chief Executive Officer Masayoshi Son speaks during a joint announcement with Toyota Motor Corp. to make new venture to develop mobility services in Tokyo, Japan, 04 October 2018.
Alessandro Di Ciommo | NurPhoto | Getty Images

Shares of SoftBank Group  closed down 17% on Thursday in their biggest one-day fall, hammered by investor skepticism over the outlook for tech bets, such as office sharing firm WeWork and ridehailer Uber.

As economic gloom grows over a coronavirus outbreak, SoftBank racked up the second biggest fall in the benchmark Nikkei 225 index, breaking the 3,000-yen level to close at 2,687 yen.

The one-day fall is greater than during the bursting of the dot-com bubble, which evaporated most of Chief Executive Officer Masayoshi Son's wealth, as his plans to build a tech investing empire via the $100 billion Vision Fund stutter.

Uber's shares closed down 22% overnight as people around the world stay home to try and slow the spread of the virus.

SoftBank is considering pulling out of a $3 billion tender offer for WeWork, sources said. The startup has taken long property leases but is exposed to customers pulling out of short co-working contracts as the economy deteriorates.

"WeWork is very likely finished as a viable business," analyst Kirk Boodry wrote in a note on the Smartkarma platform, adding that "Softbank faces a third straight quarter of losses for Vision Fund."