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Massive share buybacks not the answer; Hongkong Land needs restructuring to unlock value

PROPERTY group Hongkong Land Holdings (HKLH) is at around the half-way mark for the use of its share-buyback mandate, but the stock is nowhere near improving its valuations. It may be time for a change of tactics.

The company, owned by Jardine Matheson Holdings, had on Sep 6, 2021, announced it would invest up to US$500 million in a share-buyback programme. By Jul 22, 2022, HKLH had spent US$491 million on share buybacks - reducing issued share capital by 4 per cent.

On Jul 28, 2022, HKLH said it would allocate a further US$500 million to buy back shares until the end of 2023. And between end-July and end-October, the number of shares in issue fell by 0.4 per cent.

Yet, as at Nov 2, HKLH's share...

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