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Business trends

Japan stock buybacks double to $32bn, highest in 16 years

Cash accumulated during pandemic spent on shareholder rewards in April and May

A board displays international stock indexes outside a Tokyo brokerage. Japanese companies are buying back shares, sending a message their stocks are undervalued.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japanese companies plan to repurchase 4.2 trillion yen ($32.4 billion) of their own shares this fiscal year, nearly double the amount from a year earlier as businesses reroute cash stockpiled during the pandemic toward investor rewards.

Hitachi will repurchase 200 billion yen of its own shares, marking the first buyback in eight years and a record for a single tranche. Phone carrier NTT will buy back 400 billion yen and Apple supplier Murata Manufacturing will repurchase up to 80 billion yen in the first buyback executed in roughly a decade.

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