Japan mobile carrier earmarks $4.9 billion to buy back shares

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Japan mobile carrier earmarks $4.9 billion to buy back shares

NTT Docomo plans to sell a stake in Tata Teleservices Ltd. and spend as much as 500 billion yen ($4.9 billion) buying back shares.

Japan’s largest wireless carrier by subscribers wants to sell the entire 26.5 percent stake in Tata Teleservices it bought for 266.7 billion yen in 2009 and 2011, the company said.

The company will buy back as many as 320 million of its shares through a repurchasing plan extending from tomorrow through March 31.

The planned stake sale and share buyback come as competition for new subscribers in Japan is intensifying amid a declining population and after Docomo became the last of Japan’s three carriers to offer Apple’s iPhones. Chief Financial Officer Kazuto Tsubouchi said last month that discounts may threaten profit as it seeks to lure subscribers from rivals.

Net income in the year ended March 31 was 464.73 billion yen, a 5.4 percent decrease from a year earlier, the company said today in a statement.

Tata Teleservices offers wireless mobile services throughout India.

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