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KARACHI: In a series of recent buybacks at Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX), Engro Corporation Limited (Engro) has announced the buyback of up to 70 million shares before July 25, 2023.

This is so far the biggest share buyback in terms of value (Rs 19 billion at current price) and second in terms of free float percentage (22 percent).

Given distressed share prices at PSX amid weakening of macros, the group is interested in buying back its own companies and shares, an analyst at Sherman Securities said.

To recall, Dawood Hercules Corporation (DAWH) which is Engro’s holding company, also announced to invest Rs 5.3 billion in its group companies a few months back.

Thus, after adjusting opportunity cost of the funds, Engro’s annualized earnings are likely to improve by net 4 percent. However, as far as future payout is concerned, the company has adequate cash reserves of Rs 48 billion (at the end of September 2022) which may compel company to continue their existing payout ratio of 80-85 percent.

However, all eyes would be on ‘EFERT’ which may increase dividend in 2023 which might compel Engro to maintain its payout.

After this announcement, Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) may witness a total buying of Rs 29 billion during next couple of months. This will provide liquidity to the market as overall volumes are already at multi-year lows. Before Engro, Lucky Cement (LUCK), Bank Alfalah (BAFL) and JDW Sugar (JDWS) have already announced buyback of shares as these entities will be buying Rs 3.5 billion, Rs 6.1 billion and Rs 0.8 billion worth of shares during next couple of months.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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