Etisalat, UAEs’ biggest telecommunications company, saw its share price rise by 2.3% to AED 17.70 today on news that it is seeking to buy back Shares worth as much as $2 billion. The board of Emirates Telecommunications Group confirmed that it recommended purchasing up to 5% of the paid-up capital, or 434.8 million shares. The company has a market capitalization of AED 154 billion and based on the current price of AED 17.70 the buyback would be valued at AED 7.7 billion.
Though Etisalat’s consolidated cash and bank balances rose to AED 27.1 billion in 2017 from AED 23.7 billion in 2016, it maintained its annual dividend at 80 fils per share. Buyback of shares can be considered as an alternative way to reward the shareholders if one doesn’t want to raise the annual dividends. The shares opened with a gap up this morning and climbed to as high as AED18 and are currently trading at AED 17.70.