The Globe and Mail reports in its Thursday edition that Canada's major banks are set to announce their first dividend increases and share buybacks in nearly two years next week, but the size and timing are expected to vary widely from one bank to another.
The Globe's James Bradshaw writes that the Big Six banks are expected to play catch-up on distributing capital starting on Nov. 30, when they announce earnings for their fiscal fourth quarter, and dividends could rise by an average of 20 per cent.
Mr. Bradshaw says not all bank shareholders will benefit equally, however. Dividend increases could be as generous as 25 per cent or more at National Bank of Canada and Bank of Montreal, and as modest as 5 per cent to 10 per cent at Bank of Nova Scotia. Mr. Bradshaw says the gulf is mostly explained by differences in the rate at which each bank's earnings have bounced back from COVID-19 lows, and how generous their payouts were before the pandemic.
It is also unclear whether the catch-up dividend hikes and new share repurchase programs will come all at once with the banks' results for their fiscal year ended Oct. 31. Banks are expected to report good financial results to cap off a year of outsized profits.
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