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Fifth Third can raise dividend, repurchase shares

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Regional banking company Fifth Third Bancorp said Tuesday that its primary regulator, the Federal Reserve, lodged no objection to its plan for a possible dividend increase for the third quarter and repurchase of common stock.

Fifth Third said its board authorized the repurchase of up to 100 million shares, replacing the previous authorization from 2007, of which about 14 million shares remained. The bank's plan includes possible share buybacks of up to $600 million through the first quarter of next year, in addition to repurchases related to after-tax gains from the sale of stock in Vantiv Inc.

The board is expected to consider a possible dividend increase to 10 cents per share for the third quarter at its meeting next month, Fifth Third said in a news release. The quarterly dividend has been at 8 cents a share.

Fifth Third, based in Cincinnati, operates in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Tennessee, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Florida, Georgia and North Carolina.

Shares of Fifth Third jumped 50 cents, or 3.5 percent, to $14.89 in extended trading following Tuesday's announcement. The shares have gained 55 percent in the past year.