April 18, 2024

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UBS logo is seen at the office building in Krakow, Poland on February 22, 2024.

Jakub Porzycki | Nurphoto | Getty Images

UBS on Tuesday announced a new share repurchase program of up to $2 billion, with up to $1 billion of that total expected to take place this year.

“As previously communicated, in 2024 we expect to repurchase up to USD 1bn of our shares, commencing after the completion of the merger of UBS AG and Credit Suisse AG which is expected to occur by the end of the second quarter,” the bank said in a statement.

“Our ambition is for share repurchases to exceed our pre-acquisition level by 2026.”

The new program follows the completion of the 2022 buyback, during which 298.5 million of it shares were purchased. This represented 8.62% of its stock worth $5.2 billion, according to UBS.

The bank’s 2022 share repurchase program concluded last month.

UBS discusses outlook for U.S. rates and stock market

Buybacks take place when firms purchase their own shares on the stock exchange, reducing the portion of shares in the hands of investors. They offer a way for companies to return cash to shareholders — along with dividends — and usually coincide with a company’s stock moving higher, as shares get scarcer.

UBS has undertaken the mammoth task of integrating Credit Suisse’s business, after announcing in late March 2023 that former chief Sergio Ermotti would return for a second spell as CEO.

Figures last week showed that Ermotti earned 14.4 million Swiss francs ($15.9 million) in 2023, following his surprise return. The bank in February reported a second consecutive quarterly loss on the back of integration costs, but continued to deliver strong underlying operating profits.

Shares are up more than 6% so far this year.

— CNBC’s Elliot Smith contributed to this article.

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