National Australia Bank plans to buy back as much as A$1.5 billion ($970 million) of its shares to help further bolster its balance sheet.
(Bloomberg) — National Australia Bank plans to buy back as much as A$1.5 billion ($970 million) of its shares to help further bolster its balance sheet.
The buyback of ordinary shares will commence in late August, subject to market conditions, and help the lender reduce its common equity tier 1 capital ratio toward its target range of 11-11.5%, NAB said in a statement Tuesday.
“This decision is consistent with our focus on maintaining a strong balance sheet through the cycle, while progressively reducing our share count over time,” Chief Executive Officer Ross McEwan said in the statement.
The plan was announced as the lender announced a A$1.9 billion cash profit in a third-quarter earnings update. While NAB said that the current environment was “challenging” for customers, the lender said there had only a “modest deterioration” in asset quality in the three months through June.
NAB’s shares climbed 1.2% at 11.06am in Sydney.
The lender’s shares have lagged peers in Australia’s financial sector this year and plummeted following first-half results in May that missed analyst estimates.
The share buy-back will reduce the bank’s CET1 capital ratio by approximately 35 basis points at Level 2, and approximately 40 basis points at Level 1.
(Updates with share price in 5th paragraph)
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