March 17, 2020 / 11:47 AM / 3 months ago

China's JD.com to buy back $2 billion shares

FILE PHOTO: JD.com sign is seen at the World Internet Conference (WIC) in Wuzhen, Zhejiang province, China, October 20, 2019. REUTERS/Aly Song/File Photo

(Reuters) - China’s JD.com Inc (JD.O) said on Tuesday it would buy back up to $2 billion of its shares, after the e-commerce company estimated a growth in sales in the current quarter that has been ravaged by the coronavirus outbreak.

JD said it expects to fund the buyback, to take place over the next 24 months, with existing cash.

Last week, SoftBank Group Corp (9984.T) said it was repurchasing up to $4.8 billion of its shares after their recent slump.

Shares of JD were up nearly 6% in premarket trading.

The company’s announcement comes at a time when the world is battling the coronavirus pandemic, which has caused economic damage and disrupted supply chains.

Despite the virus outbreak, JD.com, earlier this month, forecast revenue to rise by at least 10% in the first quarter as consumers stuck at home turned online for most of their shopping needs.

JD had earlier announced buybacks of $1 billion each in 2015 and 2018, respectively.

Reporting by Akanksha Rana in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli

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