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UPDATE 1-Takeda suspending stock buybacks - Nikkei

June 3 (Reuters) - Japan's largest drugmaker Takeda Pharmaceutical Co 4502.T will suspend share buybacks and skip a dividend hike to conserve cash, the Nikkei business daily said.

The company will keep its dividend payout at 180 yen per share. Based on its estimate of 19 percent growth in net profit to 280 billion yen, the payout ratio for fiscal 2009 is likely to drop to 51 percent, the paper reported without citing sources. However, the company plans to increase R&D spending by 6 percent on the year to 310 billion yen as it needs to develop promising new drugs quickly, the daily said. (Reporting by Sweta Singh in Bangalore; Editing by Vinu Pilakkott)

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