Capital Markets

Surging Investment Banks Buy Back Stock

Enjoying recent profits, UBS and Merrill are repurchasing shares from stockholders.
Stephen TaubFebruary 11, 2004

Wall Street is flush with cash again. Thanks to the resurgent stock market and reawakening of the mergers-and-acquisitions business, some major investment banks have become very profitable.

Several of them, in fact, are giving some of the money back to shareholders in the form of stock buybacks. Zurich-based UBS, for example, announced that it would repurchase up to $4.9 billion of stock after posting its best quarterly earnings in more than three years.

In the U.S., Merrill Lynch executives said the company would repurchase up to $2 billion of its outstanding shares. “This repurchase program underscores the financial strength of Merrill Lynch,” said Ahmass Fakahany, executive vice president and chief financial officer, in a statement. “Over the past two years we have demonstrated the ability to grow our businesses and to generate substantial levels of capital.”

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