ZURICH, March 13 (Reuters) – Novartis (NOVN.S) has formally launched its new share buyback programme where it could spend up to 10 billion Swiss francs ($10.90 billion) repurchasing its shares over the next three years.

The Swiss company said it will buy a maximum of 10% of its own stock over the period from its last Annual General Meeting, which took place on March 7, up to the AGM in 2026.

Capital reductions of the registered shares repurchased under the scheme will be proposed at future AGMs, Novartis said.

Shareholders approved rolling over the remaining authorisation of 6.5 billion francs for buybacks at their AGM last week. The amount was topped up to 10 billion francs in total.

Novartis has just completed the repurchase of 213 million of its shares in the period between March 2020 and March 10 2023.

This amounted to 8.9% of its shares, which have either been cancelled or will be proposed for cancellation at AGMs.

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($1 = 0.9162 Swiss francs)

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Reporting by John Revill
Editing by Paul Carrel

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