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SoftBank approves $9.6 billion share buyback

SoftBank Group said on Friday it has approved a 1 trillion yen ($9.6 billion) share repurchase, the final tranche of a record 2.5 trillion buyback that has helped propel its share price to two decade highs. The Japanese conglomerate unveiled in March a 4.5 trillion yen plan to buy back shares and reduce debt. It has so far approved buybacks of two tranches of 500 billion yen each. In addition it announced a 500 billion yen buyback in March. SoftBank said in a statement the 4.5 trillion yen programme had intended to be executed over four quarters from the time of the original announcement, but that it was possible the repurchase may not be completed until April 2021 or later. Under the plan the group has been selling down core assets including its stake in Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba Group Holding.

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