Citicorp on Tuesday announced a $3 billion share repurchase program.
The nation's largest banking company has been under pressure to follow the lead of many of its money-center peers in spending large sums of excess capital to buy back shares, but had been resistant to do so before reaching certain capital goals.
"We have exceeded our 8% Tier 1 capital ratio goal, have built reserves to over $5 billion, and are generating free capital in excess of that needed to fund our business growth," said Citicorp chairman John S. Reed in announcing the buyback. In 1990, the Tier 1 ratio was under 4%.
The Citicorp buyback represents roughly 52 million common shares at Monday's closing price of $57.125 - 13% of its 397 million common shares outstanding and 10% of its 518 million fully diluted shares. The fully diluted total includes currently outstanding common shares plus shares that would be outstanding if all warrants and options were exercised.
The repurchase is intended in part to offset dilution from shares of common stock issued under stock-based employee compensation and benefit programs, and in connection with conversions of convertible preferred stock, the company said.
Also Tuesday, Chemical Banking Corp. raised its quarterly dividend 14% to 50 cents.