H.F. Ahmanson & Co. has resumed buying back its own shares from investors, a move which bolsters the value of its hostile bid for Great Western Financial Corp.

Ahmanson suspended its repurchase program, which had been in effect since October 1995, shortly before making its unsolicited offer for Great Western on Feb. 18. Through March 31, the company reported buying back 19.2 million shares, or an average of 3.2 million per quarter.

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