Bank of Nova Scotia (TSX:BNS) has announced that it is raising its quarterly dividend 11% to $1.00 per share and launching a program to repurchase up to 24 million of its own shares.
Those moves come after the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) said on November 4 that it was ending a temporary prohibition on dividend increases and buybacks that was designed to shield Canada’s financial system from the global pandemic.
Scotiabank announced the dividend hike and share buyback program along with a surge in its full-year and fiscal fourth-quarter profits. The bank said it earned $9.96 billion in fiscal 2021, compared to $6.85 billion in 2020.
For the fiscal fourth quarter, which ended on October 31, Scotiabank’s net income climbed to $2.56 billion from almost $1.9 billion a year earlier. On an adjusted basis, the bank earned $2.10 per share, beating analysts’ expectations for $1.91 per share.
Scotiabank said it benefited in the latest quarter from a continued improvement in credit quality, as total provisions for loan losses fell to $168 million from $380 million in the third quarter.
Profit from the bank’s sprawling international operations more than doubled in the quarter to $528 million from $263 million a year earlier.
Meanwhile, Scotiabank’s core Canadian banking division saw profits climb 59% year-over-year to $1.24 billion amid a release of $96 million that had previously been set aside for loans that could potentially go bad.
Profit growth was more muted in the bank’s other divisions. Scotiabank’s net income from global banking and markets rose 9% year-over-year to $502 million, while earnings in the wealth management business rose 19% to $387 million.