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SoftBank Group unveils $5.5 billion stock buyback, third-quarter profit soars 60 percent

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TOKYO – Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp announced a $5.5 billion share buyback on Wednesday as it reported a 60 percent rise in quarterly operating profit buoyed by rising valuations for its technology investments.

SoftBank Group said it would repurchase 112 million shares worth 600 billion yen ($5.5 billion) in the next 11 months, or about 10.3 percent of its total outstanding shares, excluding treasury stock.

The buyback comes after SoftBank Group raised 2.35 trillion yen in December by listing about a third of the shares in domestic telco SoftBank Corp, which on Tuesday reported a 24 percent jump in quarterly operating profit.

SoftBank Group said its operating profit in the October-December quarter was 438.3 billion yen ($3.99 billion) versus 274 billion yen a year earlier. The year-earlier figure used previous accounting standards.

Profits at SoftBank Group are increasingly affected by the valuations of big technology bets through its own investing activities and its Saudi-backed Vision Fund, which launched last year with over $90 billion in capital.

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