Manulife Financial Corp. is raising its dividend after a federal regulator lifted a ban on increases by the country’s banks and insurance companies that was put in place in the early days of the pandemic.
The insurer announced a supplementary dividend of five cents per share in addition to the 28 cents per share it had already announced for the quarter.
The extra payment results in a quarterly dividend of 33 cents per share, an increase of 18%.
Manulife also announced a plan to buy back up to 39 million shares, or about 2% of its shares.
The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions lifted Covid-19-related restrictions Thursday when it said banks and insurers were free to increase dividends, resume share buybacks and raise executive compensation.
The federal regulator said the financial and economic risks of the pandemic have eased so the restrictions imposed in the early days of the outbreak no longer stand.