Buying by the rules

Algorithmic trading

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US corporates are awash with cash, and many have decided to use this spare capital to buy back their own shares and boost earnings-per-share. S&P 500 corporates spent $349 million on buy-backs in 2005, 77% more than the year before, according to research by Standard & Poor's.

This strong buy-back activity has continued into 2006. Some companies, such as California-based computing giant Hewlett-Packard, have looked at highly structured trades as a way to optimise buy-back execution (Risk April

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