Telstra shareholders steal a few centimetres

The chase for yield meant Telstra’s giant ‘buyback’ was oversubscribed…but in the end the winners were few.

Summary: Telstra’s billion-dollar share buyback was largely only worthwhile for those with low taxable incomes and super funds in pension phase. Shares were bought back at the maximum discount and many investors were not able to sell as many shares as they offered. Capital gains tax losses have value, but this is harder to measure.

Key take-out: The Telstra buyback is not a big win for investors, although it does mean profits will now be shared among fewer investors. Super pension funds will have gained, but not quite as much as they may have hoped.

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