The Nikkei Asian Review writes that Japan’s third largest mobile network operator (MNO) by subscribers SoftBank Corp has announced plans to buy back up to JPY74 billion (USD685 million) of its shares, which it says will be used to cover stock options. The move marks the first stock buyback since SoftBank Corp was spun off from SoftBank Group Corp last December in a JPY2.6 trillion initial public offering. The paper notes that the buyback – with a limit of 46 million shares (equivalent to 0.96% of the total) – will occur between 6 August 2019 and 31 March 2020. The MNO added that rather than ‘retiring’ the shares, SoftBank will use them to cover stock options. As such, from 1 April 2020 it will begin offering them to employees and executives – equivalent to a maximum of 117 million new shares – on the assumption that the repurchased shares ‘will help prevent dilution of the stock’s value when the options are exercised’.