Santander sets sights on investors with dividend hike and share buyback scheme

The Spanish bank's biggest markets outside of Spain, include the UK, the US and Brazil
The Spanish bank's biggest markets outside of Spain, include the UK, the US and Brazil Copyright Manu Fernandez/Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
By Euronews
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Investors have previously aired concerns about the Spanish bank having operations across a number of countries throughout the world.

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Spanish bank Santander has announced a share buyback programme of €1.5 billion and says it will raise its dividend for 2024 by 50%.

Shares, which have lagged behind other banks, rose more than 2% in early trading following the announcement.

The average purchase price of shares would not be more than €4.76, with an average price of €3.95 expected, revealed Reuters, quoting Santander. 

The move means some 40% of the bank's pre-tax profits will go back to shareholders while the rest will go towards paying tax and bills and new loans. 

The bank, which reported a record annual net profit of €11bn in January, has come under criticism over its policy of operating in a large number of different countries. 

It said last year it was reorganising its business into five global divisions: retail and commercial banking, corporate and investment banking, wealth management, digital consumer banking, and payments to allow the bank to "improve its customer service and simplify its business further".

Following the share buyback news, Ana Botín, Banco Santander executive chair, said: "Our strategy and competitive advantages have proven to deliver sustainable, increasing profitability and growth, year after year. 

"After record performance in 2023, we continue to invest for future growth while increasing shareholder returns, returning more than €5.5 billion through dividends and buybacks, which represents an equivalent yield of approximately 10%. 

"We are already seeing good progress in 2024 and expect to achieve all our targets for this year, including a return on tangible equity of 16%."

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