SoftBank still remains a substantial shareholder in Uber. Photo: Reuters/Tyrone Siu

Japan’s SoftBank Group has sold US$2 billion-worth of shares in Uber, according to a document released Monday, as it took advantage of a surge in the US ride-hailing giant’s value.

An affiliate of SoftBank’s Vision Fund sold 38 million shares for $53.46 apiece, according to a US stock filing on Uber’s website, though it still remains the firm’s main shareholder, with a 10% stake worth about $10 billion.

SoftBank has invested heavily in ride-hailing platforms worldwide in recent years, from California-based Uber to Didi Chuxing in China, Singapore’s Grab and India’s Ola.

It’s decision to buy heavily into Uber appeared to have backfired when its price plunged following a disappointing 2019 initial public offering, before being slammed by the impact of coronavirus lockdowns devastated demand for hired transport.

By the end of March, Uber’s share price had fallen below $15, from $42 on its first day of trading in May 2019.

But the outlook has brightened considerably for such platforms as demand for food delivery booms with people still stuck at home, and the US firm’s share price has soared.

SoftBank Group’s shares rose 0.8% to 8,050 yen in Tokyo morning trade.

AFP