Telstra is giving back $1.5 billion to shareholders

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Telstra plans to give back at least $1.5 billion to shareholders from its windfall of $US1.6 billion ($A2.1 billion) from selling down its stake in the China car site Autohome.

The deal will give Telstra, which sold a 47.7% stake to Ping An Insurance Group, an accounting gain of about $A1.8 billion

Australia’s largest Telco will give details of its capital management program at its full year results presentation in August.

Telstra is looking at ways to return capital to shareholders with the exact nature, amount and timing dependent on market conditions and regulatory approvals. However, the amount will be at least $1.5 billion.

“I am pleased that we are able to confirm such a significant capital management program as the result of active management of our investment portfolio,” said CEO Andrew Penn.

“Given our recent announcement of the sale of Autohome shares, we believed it was important to provide the market with further information about how we intend to use those funds.

“While specific details of the nature of the capital management program are yet to be confirmed, creating this type of shareholder value is in accordance with our capital management framework.

“Importantly, we also maintain sufficient capacity to invest in our growth plans for the future.”

Telstra bought a majority stake in Autohome in 2008 and the business was listed on Wall Street in 2013. Autohome is a leading online automobile advertising platform and automotive information site in China.

The telco is retaining a 6.5% interest.

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