Investors cheer after UniCredit lifts payout goal by 40%
UniCredit (CRDI.MI) on Tuesday galvanised investors by pledging to return 5.25 billion euros ($5.69 billion) from its 2022 earnings after posting a record quarterly profit, as CEO Andrea Orcel works to deliver on his ambitious payout plans.
Orcel, who has focused UniCredit on capital light businesses to maximise returns since taking over in early 2021, said he was confident of receiving approval from European Central Bank supervisors before the bank’s general meeting in April.
His upbeat tone contrasted with the cautious note struck by rival UBS (UBSG.S), Orcel’s former employer, which also reported on Tuesday, promising to pay out more than $6.7 billion.
Shares in UniCredit soared 10.5% to a near five-year high.
UniCredit share price performance since CEO Andrea Orcel’s arrival
Lenders need ECB approval for share buybacks, which account for almost two thirds of UniCredit’s 2022 capital distribution target in addition to cash dividends.
“We’ve had extensive discussions with the regulators over the distributions and we feel very confident that we will get authorisation to execute them,” Orcel told a media briefing.
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