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Atlanta-based US local telco BellSouth Corp is planning a $1bn share repurchase in 1998, to increase shareholder return in the company. The buy back has been initiated due to BellSouth’s robust financial performance. BellSouth bought $4.8m shares of common stock worth $153m last year and is planning to buy back 20 million shares, worth around $930m at current share price of $46.5 over the course of 1998. BellSouth has also formally given its chief executive officer and president Duane Ackerman the extra title of chairman. His predecessor John Clendenin has been a non-executive chairmen since his replacement by Ackerman in January, and is now expected to retire on 31 Dec.

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