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Microsoft hopes divi rise will buy off investors

Multi-billion dollar debt hike too

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Microsoft is upping its share dividend by three cents, or 23 per cent, in a move to placate investors who've struggled to see much return on the stock in recent months.

Peter Klein, CFO at Microsoft, said the move, alongside the firm's share buyback programme, was evidence of its confidence in long-term growth.

Microsoft shares are down from $31 at the start of the year to just over $25 today, which is bad for both investors and senior staff relying on share option packages to bolster their salaries.

MS also announced a $6bn increase in long-term debt.

The Microsoft release is here. ®

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