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Softbank loses $62 million on E*Trade stake

Japanese Internet investor Softbank said on Friday its U.S. unit had incurred a loss of $62 million from the sale of shares owned in U.S. online bank and brokerage company E*Trade Group. E*Trade on Thursday announced it was buying back 3.4 million of its shares at $3.60 each from Softbank. Softbank also sold another 12 million shares or E*Trade stock to Salomon Smith Barney, the company disclosed in a regulatory filing on Thursday. Softbank sold the shares as part of an effort to diversify its holdings, it said in a statement.

Softbank retains a stake of 3.4 million shares in E*Trade through its partial ownership of E*Trade Japan, which is a joint venture with E*Trade, the companies said. Despite the stock sale, Softbank Holdings Vice Chairman Ronald Fisher will remain a member of E*Trade's board of directors. Late last year, Softbank announced that it would cut its stakes in its various Internet holdings, including those in Yahoo and E*Trade.

Reuters contributed to this report.