Morgan Stanley pledges higher dividends, buybacks «
Morgan Stanley /quotes/zigman/182639/delayed/quotes/nls/ms MS +4.38% on Friday pledged to increase shareholder dividends and stock buybacks in a bid to return cash to investors, but the bank stopped short of giving many details. In a note issued with fourth-quarter results, Morgan Stanley promised a “steady increase” in share buybacks “in the coming years,” and that it would “begin increasing (the) dividend reflecting stable earnings streams.” Big banks last week submitted capital plans to the Federal Reserve, which will decide whether to grant them permission to buy back their own stocks or pay out higher dividends to shareholders. Last year, in the initial submissions, Morgan Stanley did not ask for permission for either; instead it asked only for approval to buy out the rest of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, the retail brokerage it jointly owned with Citigroup Inc. /quotes/zigman/5065548/delayed/quotes/nls/c C -0.63% The bank finished buying the rest of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney shortly afterward, and then asked for – and received – approval for a share buyback, its first since 2008. It is currently paying a quarterly dividend of $0.05 per share.