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GM restores quarterly dividend after more than two years

·1 min read

(Reuters) - General Motors Co said on Friday it will reinstate quarterly dividend payouts after suspending it over two years ago when the COVID-19 pandemic first struck.

The automaker had suspended dividend payments and share buybacks in April 2020 after the global coronavirus pandemic hit sales and impacted production, forcing the company to conserve cash during the crisis.

The first dividend, at the rate of 9 cents per share on the company's common stock, will be paid on Sept. 15, 2022, the carmaker said in a statement.

GM Chief Executive Mary Barra cited the company's electric vehicle (EV) expansion and domestic battery manufacturing infrastructure plans and said, "progress on these key strategic initiatives has improved our visibility and strengthened confidence in our capacity to fund growth while also returning capital to shareholders,"

Last year, the company boosted its spending plans on electric and autonomous vehicles to $35 billion through 2025 as it looks to catch up with EV leader Tesla Inc.

Meanwhile, GM also said it will resume opportunistic share repurchases, adding the board has increased the capacity under the company's existing repurchase program to $5.0 billion of common stock, up from the $3.3 billion previously remaining under the program.

(Reporting by Aishwarya Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)