UPDATE 1-Yandex may expand share buyback, consider paying dividends

Tue Jun 3, 2014 4:06am EDT

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MOSCOW, June 3 (Reuters) - Russian internet group Yandex may expand the limit of its share buyback programme, following which it may consider paying dividends for the first time, Chief Financial Officer Alexander Shulgin said on Tuesday.

"We are completing the buyback of 15 million shares... It's possible to increase it by another 3 million. Most likely it will be extended and then the board will probably make a decision on paying dividends," Shulgin told reporters.

He did not give a timeframe as to when the extended programme would be in effect or when the board would discuss it and the dividends.

Yandex had 51 billion roubles ($1.5 billion) in cash and cash equivalents at the end of March. By April 22, it had repurchased 12.5 million shares from the market as part of the previously announced 15 million share buyback programme. ($1 = 34.8810 Russian Roubles) (Reporting by Anastasia Teterevleva; Writing by Maria Kiselyova; Editing by Megan Davies)

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