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Business trends

Japan stock buybacks surge as ample cash is put to work

Cuts to number of outstanding shares used to raise key gauges of investment

Japanese companies are announcing more share buybacks as investors ramp up scrutiny over capital efficiency.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Listed Japanese companies will nearly double the value of shares bought back from investors this fiscal year, as more corporations opt to use their cash holdings to bolster the performance of their equity.

According to releases issued between April 1 and Tuesday, publicly traded corporations are on track to repurchase about 3.41 trillion yen ($30.9 billion) worth of shares during fiscal 2019, up 93% from the previous year. The roster includes companies repurchasing shares for the first time, like developer Mitsubishi Estate, and others trying to counteract shrinking annual profit, like robot maker Fanuc.

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