Samsung Electronics Co. will cancel 4.88 trillion won ($4.36 billion) worth of its own shares as part of its ambitious buyback and reward program announced last year.
South Korea’s largest company by market cap said Friday it will cancel 449,542,150 common shares, or 7 percent of outstanding shares, and 80,742,300 preferred shares, or 9 percent, by Dec. 4.
In market value, the retirement of the stocks would be worth 22 trillion won based on Thursday’s closing price. Samsung Electronics shares closed Friday 3.01 percent lower at 41,850 won.
The move is part of its pledge in April 2017 to retire 899 million common shares and 161 million preferred shares in two phases. The first stage was carried out in May last year.
“The latest cancellation is expected to lift our shares and shareholder returns,” said a company official. “We plan to boost our competitiveness to achieve sustainable growth and carry on with our shareholder benefit plan.”
From 2015 to 2017, Samsung Electronics spent a total of 33.5 trillion won to reward shareholders, including 12.9 trillion won in dividend payouts. It plans to put in another 28.8 trillion won through 2020.
Shares of the world’s largest chipmaker have dropped more than 20 percent since the beginning of the year as the chip sector faces a downturn after a two-year rally. The global memory market, which expanded 61.5 percent last year and an estimated 33.2 percent this year, is projected to fall 0.3 percent in 2019, according to World Semiconductor Trade Statistics.
By Chung Seul-gi and Kim Hyo-jin
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