There’s little doubt the relative strength of the Shoprite share price helped to persuade some shareholders to vote in support of the R1.7bn repurchase of Whitey Basson’s shares.After all, last Friday, the day the proxies had to be in, the share price was close to a record high of R225, so it looked as though the company was going to make a nice profit when it bought out Basson at R201. But less than a week later, the share price has slumped to R214 — still a profit, if not as large — down from 12% to 6%. Of course, there was the R3.24 dividend payment made on Wednesday. And no doubt, the national credit regulator’s ruling, released on Wednesday, may also have caused some jitters. The share repurchase was not about profit, though. The possibility of making profit off shareholders is one of the good reasons share repurchases should be treated with circumspection. Another is that most companies are not in the business of share trading and so should not be doing it, even on an opportun...

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