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Microsoft to spend $40 billion to buy back shares

Decision could improve market standing as company share prices fall nearly 30% this year

Microsoft has announced plans to spend another $40 billion buying back its shares from investors.

In a company statement, Microsoft revealed that it had completed its previous $40 billion stock repurchase program and that its latest buy-back would expire on 30 September, 2013.

The move, believed to be the largest buy-back plan in history, could increase share prices of the company which has fallen by nearly 30% in 2008.

Microsoft said the stock repurchase program showed its "confidence in the long-term growth of the company and our commitment to returning capital to our shareholders."

Hewlett-Packard has also announced plans to buy back $8 billion of its shares.

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