HONG KONG, July 6 (Reuters) - China Vanke Co Ltd , the country’s largest developer, said on Monday it plans to repurchase up to 10 billion yuan ($1.61 billion) worth of A shares to protect investor interests after markets plunged 30 percent since mid-June.
Vanke’s statement follows scores of others from China-listed firms last week saying major shareholders or top managers have increased their holdings, amid fears of a full-blown stock market crash that would threaten the world’s second-largest economy.
China has announced a series of measures to prevent a further slide in its stock markets, with top securities brokerages saying on Saturday that they would collectively buy at least 120 billion yuan of shares.
The government is awaiting the market opening on Monday to see if the new measures will halt the recent plunge, or if panicky investors who borrowed heavily to speculate on stocks will continue to sell.
China Vanke, which has a market value of $25 billion, said in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange the proposed price of the repurchase of A shares should be up to 13.70 yuan per share, the closing price of the stock on July 3.
It said the stock to be repurchased would be no less than 730 million shares, accounting for at least 6.60 percent of the company’s total issued shares.
China has announced near-daily official policy moves over the past week, including an interest rate cut and a relaxation of margin lending rules, that have so far failed to arrest the sell-off, which some market watchers fear could turn into a full-blown crash. ($1 = 6.2047 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Donny Kwok; Editing by Anne Marie Roantree and Stephen Coates)