MANILA, Philippines -- Shopping mall operator SM Prime Holdings Inc. said Monday its board has approved a share buyback program worth P1 billion ($23.8 million) to enhance shareholder value.
"Management believes that the company's shares are currently undervalued in the market," SM Prime told Manila's stock exchange.
The company did not provide the terms and timetable of the buyback plan. It said any transaction will be disclosed as it occurs.
SM Prime said Friday it would spend P33 billion in the next five years to fund domestic expansion. The five-year budget includes P6 billion for the construction of three new malls and the upgrade of three existing malls this year.
But the budget does not include plans to expand its presence in China following the acquisition of three new malls in Xiamen, Jinjiang and Chengdu.
Shares in SM Prime, which is partly owned by conglomerate SM Investments Corp., closed 2.7 percent lower at P7.20.
The stock has fallen nearly 30 percent so far this year, contributing to the weakness of the main index which has lost 24 percent due to continued selling of emerging market assets amid a bleak outlook for the global economy and rising inflation.
SM Investments closed 0.4 percent lower at P249.00.
($1 = P42.1)