Nickel Asia Corp., the largest nickel producer, approved a share buyback program worth up to P1.5 billion to boost shareholder value.
Nickel Asia said in a disclosure to the stock exchange its board endorsed the share buyback program for a period of two years.
“The objectives of the buyback program are to enhance shareholder value and to manifest confidence in the company’s inherent value and long-term prospects,” Nickel Asia president Martin Antonio Zamora said.
“Given the current weakness in the market, now is an opportune time for the company to repurchase its own shares, which has been exceedingly undervalued,” Zamora added.
From a 52-week high of P7.02, share price of Nickel Asia is currently trading at P2.20.
The mining firm said it would buy back the shares using cash and book them as treasury shares.
Nickel Asia said the buy-back program would not involve active and widespread solicitation from shareholders in general, and would not adversely affect the company’s prospective and existing projects.
Nickel Asia is the country’s largest producer of lateritic nickel ore and one of the largest in the world.
The company expects to ship approximately 19.7 million wet metric tons of nickel ore this year, up 11 percent from 17.7 million WMT in 2017.
Earlier this month, the company announced its financial and operating results for the nine months ending September 30, 2018, with attributable net income at P3.54 billion, a 35-percent increase from P2.62 billion year-on-year.
Nickel Asia said the shipments of higher value saprolite ore, a stronger US dollar and an increase in the company’s share of profits from investment in both the Coral Bay and Taganito processing plants resulted in a significant improvement in earnings during the period.