The latest: CanSino Biologics Inc. (6185.HK; 688185.SH) said Friday it bought back about 670,000 of its Shanghai-listed A-shares for 147 million yuan ($20.8 million) as of Nov. 30, accounting for about 0.27% of its total share capital.

Looking up: Such repurchases are usually intended to signal to investors that management is optimistic about the company’s future growth prospects or believes its shares are significantly undervalued.

Take Note: The company’s board passed the buyback plan for its A-shares in January, allotting between 150 million yuan and 300 million yuan. With a little more a month before the program expires, the company has not yet reached the minimum level of the target buyback amount.

Digging Deeper: Founded in 2009 as a vaccine manufacturer, CanSino was listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in March 2019 and on the Shanghai STAR Market in August 2020. The company’s product lineup contains several Covid-19 vaccines, including an inhaled vaccine and the older injectable Convidecia, which uses recombinant adenovirus carrier type 5 technology. Convidecia received conditional approval from China’s drug regulator in February last year and was certified for emergency use by the World Health Organization (WHO) in May this year. It is now widely used in China and many countries around the world. However, the company stated last month that it doesn’t expect Convidecia to give a significant boost to its revenue based on China’s current immunization strategy and the country’s high rate of booster vaccination.

Market Reaction: CanSino’s Shanghai-listed shares closed up 0.6% at 205.21 yuan by the midday break on Friday. Its Hong Kong shares initially jumped 4.3% on Friday, and closed up 1.3% at HK$90.95 by the noon break. The Hong Kong stock currently trades near the lower end of its 52-week range.

Translation by Jony Ho

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