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Dow Chemical to Buy Back Up to $1.5 Billion of Shares

Dow Chemical Co., the largest U.S. chemical maker by sales, said its board approved a program to buy back as much as $1.5 billion of shares.

“Our three priorities for uses of cash will remain consistent: further deleveraging, returning value to our shareholders and investing for attractive, high-margin organic growth in our downstream businesses,” Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Andrew Liveris said today in a statement.

Dow is awaiting payment of $2.16 billion in damages from Kuwait’s Petrochemical Industries Co. for canceling a 2008 agreement to buy a stake in Dow’s plastics business. A final award, increasing the payment to $2.5 billion with interest and costs, should be released in February, Dow said Jan. 31. The cash will be used to improve the balance sheet, it said at the time.

Dow dropped 1 percent to $32.16 in New York. The Midland, Michigan-based company has risen 0.5 percent this year while the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index has climbed 6.6 percent.

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