Thursday 6 February 2020 8:26 am

Societe Generale courts shareholders with possible buyback

Societe Generale boosted its capital in 2019 due to asset sales, and said it would introduce a new shareholder remuneration policy including the possibility of share buybacks. 

France’s largest bank guided that its profitability would improve in 2020, although it fell short of mentioning its previous return on tangible equity (ROTE) guidance of between nine and 10 per cent. In 2019, SocGen’s ROTE stood at 6.2 per cent.

The bank’s revenue climbed 4.8 per cent in the fourth quarter to reach €6.2bn (£5.3bn), but net income declined 4.6 per cent to €654m. 

SocGen’s common equity tier one capital ratio — a crucial measure of banks’ financial health — rose to 12.7 per cent for the three months ending 31 December, from 12.5 per cent the previous quarter. 

The bank said it would maintain a 50 per cent dividend payout ratio for 2020, when shareholders would be remunerated in cash or “could include a share buyback component of up to ten per cent”.

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