SoftBank spent $3.8 billion on buybacks in July, August

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TOKYO (Reuters) - SoftBank Group Corp on Monday said it spent 398 billion yen ($3.8 billion) buying back 63.2 million shares between July 1 and Aug. 3, part of a repurchase programme that has helped lift its share price to two decade highs.

The latest purchases bring the total spent on buybacks since March to 1 trillion yen ($9.5 billion). SoftBank has approved a further two tranches totalling 1.5 trillion yen which will provide continued support to the conglomerate’s shares.

Chief Executive Masayoshi Son launched the buybacks, funded by a large-scale asset monetization plan, after the group’s earnings were hammered by poor performance at the $100 billion Vision Fund.

SoftBank’s shares closed up 5% on Monday and have risen almost 160% since their March trough, shrinking the gap between the share price and the value of the group’s assets.

Reporting by Sam Nussey, editing by Louise Heavens