FRANKFURT May 12 Germany's Siemens said on Monday it is starting a share buyback programme of up to four billion euros ($5.5 billion).
The share buyback was announced in November last year, but was put on hold as the engineering giant drew up a restructuring programme to catch up with more profitable competitors.
Until 31 October 2015, Siemens will repurchase up to 47.8 million shares, the company said.
"The buyback serves the sole purpose of cancelling and reducing the capital stock, issuing shares to employees, board members of affiliated companies, and members of the Managing Board of Siemens AG as well as servicing convertible bonds and warrant bonds," the group said in a statement.
($1 = 0.7269 Euros) (Reporting by Kirsti Knolle; editing by Jason Neely)