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Share buybacks remain an option for SoftBank, says CEO Son

TOKYO, June 23 (Reuters) - SoftBank Group Corp CEO Masayoshi Son said on Wednesday share buybacks remain an option, amid a slide in the conglomerate’s shares.

“Buybacks are always on my mind as an important option but when and how big requires balanced thinking,” Son said at SoftBank’s annual shareholders’ meeting, adding that the group also needs to consider alternative uses of its capital.

Shares in SoftBank, which completed a record 2.5 trillion yen ($22.6 billion) buyback programme in May, have slid amid weakness in tech stocks. That has helped widen its conglomerate discount - the gap between the value of its assets and share price - to about 50%.

“I believe our potential is much bigger than the discounted share price,” said Son, calling on shareholders to take a long-term view on the company. ($1 = 110.7300 yen) (Reporting by Sam Nussey; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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