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Following US stock market turmoil, JD.com to repurchase up to USD 2 billion in shares

The plan is meant to better protect investors’ interests, says the firm.

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Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com (NASDAQ: JD) said Tuesday that its board of directors has approved a plan under which the company may repurchase up to USD 2 billion of its shares over the next 24 months, according to a company’s press release.

The repurchases may be made intermittently with both open market purchases at prevailing market prices and in privately negotiated transactions, the company announced.

When reached by KrASIA on Wednesday, the firm said the repurchases will be meant to better protect its investors’ interests. All funds needed for the transactions will come from the existing cash balance, so as not to affect the company’s normal operation.

The e-commerce firm added that it is confident about future performance. “JD.com has made full use of its leading advantages in the supply chain, logistics, and technology to ensure the stable operation of various businesses,” said the firm.

JD.com was one of the first companies to support authorities and medical personnel during the public health crisis initiated by the coronavirus, when it deployed its Level-4 autonomous driving robots to send medical supplies to the Wuhan Ninth Hospital, in the capital of Hubei province. The company also used drones to deliver daily necessities to a village locked down in the same province when regular routes became inaccessible.

The global spread of the coronavirus has triggered three circuit breakers in the US stock market in less than 10 days since March 9. JD.com was not immune to the volatility, diving from USD 44.62 per share on March 5 to USD 35.24 at closing time on March 16.

JD’s stocks climbed more than 8% to close at USD 38.35 on Tuesday following the announcement of the repurchasing plan.

JD.com predicted its first-quarter revenue to grow at least 10% year-on-year when disclosing its 2019 full-year report. The company is also reportedly planning a secondary listing in Hong Kong as early as the middle of this year, KrASIA reported.