JPMorgan CEO buys $37m of its shares

JPMorgan Chase's Jamie Dimon bought the shares after they fell to the lowest price in over two years.
JPMorgan Chase's Jamie Dimon bought the shares after they fell to the lowest price in over two years.

NEW YORK • Mr Jamie Dimon, chairman and chief executive (CEO) of JPMorgan Chase, spent US$26.6 million (S$37.1 million) to buy shares of his bank after they tumbled to the lowest price in more than two years.

Mr Dimon, 59, bought 500,000 shares on Thursday, bringing his total holding to 6.75 million shares, according to a regulatory filing.

He made the purchase because he believes the stock is cheap after a global rout in equities, according to a person with knowledge of his thinking.

JPMorgan, the largest US lender by assets, fell 20 per cent this year through the end of regular trading in New York.

Other global banks including Citigroup, Bank of America, Credit Suisse Group and Deutsche Bank have all plunged more than 32 per cent.

JPMorgan climbed 2.9 per cent to US$54.62 at 6.18 pm in extended trading on news of Mr Dimon's purchase. They ended Thursday's session at US$53.07.

Executives can sometimes shore up confidence in their firms after purchasing shares in the open market.

Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat and chairman Michael O'Neill each bought about US$1 million of their bank's shares on Jan 22, after they fell to the lowest in more than three years. The stock has tumbled 15 per cent since.

On Thursday, Citigroup chief financial officer (CFO) John Gerspach purchased 13,000 shares for about US$489,000, according to a filing.

A total of 699 officers and directors of US companies purchased their own stock in the past 30 days compared with 828 who sold, the most bullish ratio in more than four years, according to data.

Stocks with the worst losses, such as financial firms, are seeing the biggest increase in demand. Mr Howell D. McCullough III, CFO of Huntington Bancshares, snapped up 25,000 shares on Feb 1, after the Ohio lender tumbled 22 per cent.

Mr Dimon's total compensation for last year was US$27 million, mostly in stock units linked to the bank's future performance. That is a 35 per cent raise from a year earlier as profit reached a record US$24.4 billion.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 13, 2016, with the headline 'JPMorgan CEO buys $37m of its shares'. Print Edition | Subscribe