Apple Reopens Stores, Issues Bonds To Pay Dividends And Buyback Shares

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) stores are reopening around the world.

Apple has announced that it will reopen its lone retail store in Austria and 21 of its 22 stores in Australia after shutting them in March to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The location in Austria will open on May 5, while the Australia stores will open on May 7. The company’s flagship store in Sydney remains closed due to renovations.

The company shut its physical retail locations earlier this year as the virus swept from China across the world. Apple reopened locations in China first, followed by the company’s lone store in South Korea. Apple is now opening Austria and Australia next.

Apple said that it recommends customers still buy products online for delivery because the stores, initially, will focus on technical support. Apple has 458 stores outside of China and plans to reopen them all gradually.

Separately, Apple also announced that it is issuing bonds to fund stock buybacks and dividends. The iPhone maker raised $8.5 billion by selling four different bonds with maturities ranging from three years to 30 years. It sold a $2-billion three-year bond and a five-year $2.25-billion instrument with coupons of 0.75% and 1.125% respectively, the lowest rates the company has paid on bonds with such durations since 2013, according to data from Refinitiv IFR.

Apple’s 10-year and 30-year bonds were also the lowest the company has ever paid, according to the Refinitiv data. The funds raised will go toward general corporate purposes, including share repurchases and dividend payments. During the six months ended March 28, Apple spent $38.5 billion to repurchase its own stock.