Source AP ©

Novartis AG ends its share buyback business program

Drugmaker Novartis AG has led to an end a 4 billion Swiss franc (US$3.55 billion; 2.4 billion EUR) share buyback program.

The program, which was announced in July, covers nearly 63.2 million shares that were purchased at an average price of 63.32 francs (US$56.16; 38.05 EUR), the company said.

Novartis said it will propose to shareholders at its next general meeting in February to cancel all shares from the latest buyback as well as nearly 22.2 million shares left over from a previous repurchase program completed in July.

The price of Novartis shares rose 0.8 percent to close at 64.35 francs (US$57.02; 38.63 EUR) on the Zurich exchange Friday.