SoFi CEO Noto buys ‘opportunistic’ million-dollar shares as SVB crisis fuels sales

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SoFi Technologies Inc. on Friday amid the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank. shares fell, the chief executive of the financial-technology company bought the stock.

SoFi chief executive Anthony Noto bought about $995,000 in SoFi shares.
-8.37%
on Friday, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission issued after the close of trading. He bought 180,000 shares in the range of $5.495 to $5.560 per share at an average price of $5.5283.

Shares of SoFi, the neobanking company best known for its lending products, closed Thursday at $6.09. They hit a low of $5.21 in Friday’s session and reached $5.58 before the end of the trading day, down 8.4%.

Context: Silicon Valley Bank becomes the largest bank to be taken over by the FDIC since the 2008 financial crisis

According to VerityData research director Ben Silverman, the purchase appeared to be “an opportunistic move” on Noto’s part, as he was “buying into weakness as SOFI shares fell along with other financials due to problems at SVB”.

“We think he’s trying to signal to investors that the transition affecting names like SoFi is creating a buying opportunity,” Silverman said.

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SoFi disclosed in a separate filing Friday afternoon that it “does not hold assets with a Silicon Valley bank.” The company has a facility of approximately $40 million that is “provided through Silicon Valley Bank” but is “unaffected by Silicon Valley Bank’s acquisition of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation,” according to that filing.

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Noto was an “aggressive” buyer of SoFi’s stock in December, Silverman said, picking up $7.4 million in shares at prices as low as $4.60 per share in several transactions. “It was a very compelling belief, and they timed their purchases perfectly,” Silverman said.

SoFi’s stock hit a 2023 high of $7.72 on February 2.

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Silverman observed that Nato was “a consistent but not aggressive buyer from August 2021 to June 2022, buying in a range from around $14.00 to around $5.00.”