AMP shares surge on dividend, buy-back

Shares in AMP have surged after the wealth manager declared a special dividend and a $200 million share buy-back after its first-half result came in as expected.

The stock rose 11.23 per cent to $1.53 by 1137 AEST after AMP said it would pay a special dividend of 10 cents per share, fully franked.

The board does not expect to pay a final dividend this year.

The on-market share buy-back will run over the next 12 months, subject to market conditions.

The payout could go some way to appeasing shareholders denied dividends for 2019 and who lobbied for a payout at the annual general meeting in May.

AMP reported a first-half underlying profit of $149 million, down from $256 million for the same period last year, due to COVID-19 impacts and market volatility.

Management had already flagged the substantial fall for the six months ended June 30.

Its bottom line net profit was $203 million, compared to last year’s $2.3 billion loss.

The group last month completed the $3 billion sale of its life insurance business to Resolution Life.

Moody’s Investors Service vice president Frank Mirenzi said the high levels of capital at AMP leave it better placed to focus on growth and operational efficiency.

AMP also announced plans to repurchase Mitsubishi UFJ Trust and Banking Corporation’s 15 per cent shareholding in AMP Capital.

The deal is worth $460 million.

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