China games giants buy back shares

The9 Limited, NetEase purchase own shares

HONG KONG – Two of China’s NASDAQ-listed games giants Friday announced plans to buy back their shares.

The9 Limited said that its board of directors had approved a $50 million buyback of its American Depositary Receipts. Internet and games giant NetEase said that it had approved a $100 million buy back of its ADRs, following completion of an earlier purchase program that reached $46.4 million.

Share buybacks usually occur when stock markets put a significantly lower value on shares than the company itself believes it is worth.

“We think that the current shares price level does not reflect our company’s fair value and potential. We believe this share repurchase program is a good investment opportunity at the prevailing price level,” Jun Zhu, chairman and CEO of The9, said.

The9 operates licensed massively multi-player online role-playing games including “World of Warcraft” and “Soul of The Ultimate Nation,” an exclusive license to operate Electronic Arts’ “SPORTS FIFA Online 2,” and launched its first proprietary MMORPG, “Joyful Journey West” in mainland China. Broader-based, NetEase operates MMORPGs including “Fantasy Westward Journey,” “Tianxia II” and “Datang” in China where online is the dominant form of gaming.

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