December 8, 2011 / 1:53 PM / 7 years ago

UPDATE 1-BCE ups dividend, announces share buyback

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Dec 8 (Reuters) - BCE Inc, Canada’s largest telecom company, raised its dividend for 2012 by about 5 percent to C$2.17 per share and said it will buy back up to C$250 million ($247.1 million) of shares.

The Montreal-based company, parent of Bell Canada, expects to repurchase about 6.5 million common shares and will use part of its year-end 2011 surplus cash to fund the program.

The share buyback program will be executed over a one-year period starting from December 12.

Since December 2008, BCE has repurchased about 56.2 million common shares at an average price of C$26.43, or a total of C$1.5 billion, it said in a statement.

BCE will also pay C$750 million to Bell Canada’s voluntary pension plan and, as a result, expects tax savings of about C$170 million.

However, it still sees no change in net earnings and maintained its third-quarter earnings forecast of C$3.10-C$3.15 per share.

BCE shares closed at C$40.18 on Wednesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

$1 = 1.0116 Canadian dollars Reporting by Arnav Das Sharma in Bangalore

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