Alibaba's Ma, Tsai to buy back $500 million in shares

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[February 29, 2016]  SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Alibaba Group Holding Ltd said on Monday Chairman Jack Ma and Vice Chairman Joe Tsai have agreed to buy back a combined $500 million in company shares, part of a $4 billion stock repurchase scheme announced in August.

The buyback comes as the e-commerce firm's shares languish at $66.91, more than a dollar off their IPO price of $68, and as it struggles with slowing growth and a gloomy outlook for the Chinese economy.

Sina News reported that Ma and Tsai had signed an agreement to use their private funds to repurchase shares worth $500 million. An Alibaba spokesman confirmed the news but declined to give details.

In August, Alibaba announced the $4 billion share repurchase program which would take place over two years and was aimed at offsetting the impact of its share-based compensation programs.

(Reporting by John Ruwitch; Editing by Miral Fahmy)

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