Chinese e-commerce company and tech behemoth Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd’s (NYSE: BABA) shares dropped in 6.67% in Hong Kong as of press time on Monday. This followed the company announcing plans to raise its stock buyback threshold by an additional $4 billion.
What Happened: Alibaba’s share repurchase program will now target a $10 billion buyback through the end of 2022, 67% higher than the earlier limit of $6 billion.
The higher magnitude of the repurchase limit comes at a time when the Alibaba stock has taken a hit due to the anti-competition probes from Chinese authorities.
China’s State Administration for Market Regulation, the country’s market regulator, confirmed last week it is scrutinizing Alibaba’s merchant policy, which requires merchants to either exclusively work on its platform or chose a rival service.
After the crash on Thursday, Alibaba stock returns on a year-to-date basis were reduced to a 1.46% gain.
Why Does It Matter: The antitrust investigation comes in the aftermath of Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma’s comments about China’s financial system and lack of innovation.
The Alibaba-backed payment services company Ant Group’s initial public offering was halted, following a probe about a month ago. The Chinese authorities, on Sunday, instructed the subsidiary company to shift focus towards its core payment services business, all the while targeting Ant’s wealth management, insurance, and lending services businesses.
Price Action: BABA stock closed 13.34% lower at $222 last Thursday.