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SoftBank to buy back an additional $9.6 bln of shares

TOKYO, July 31 (Reuters) - SoftBank Group said on Friday it would buy back an additional 1 trillion yen ($9.6 billion) of shares under its repurchase programme, bringing the total decided so far to 2 trillion yen.

The Japanese conglomerate unveiled in March a 4.5 trillion yen plan to buy back shares and reduce debt. It had so far decided on two tranches of 500 billion yen each.

SoftBank said in a statement the 4.5 trillion programme had intended to be executed over four quarters from the time of the original announcement, but that it was possible the repurchase may not be completed until April 2021 or later. ($1 = 104.6700 yen) (Reporting by Chris Gallagher; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)