SINGAPORE (Jan 11): Last year, the Straits Times Index lost 10.5%, owing to a range of global and domestic factors. Amid the plunge, many locally listed companies took the opportunity to buy back their own shares.

According to SGX My Gateway, the value of share buybacks more than trebled to $1.53 billion in 2018, from $426 million in 2017. The figure was also higher than the $826 million worth of share buybacks recorded in 2016, but lower than the $2 billion worth of share buybacks registered in 2015.

The share buybacks were conducted by 100 Mainboard-listed companies, according to SGX My Gateway. About 80% of the shares in terms of value were bought by STI constituent companies. Compared with their combined market value as at end-2018, however, the value of the share buybacks was “small change”, SGX My Gateway says.

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