MILAN (Reuters) - UniCredit <CRDI.MI> remains strongly committed to increasing returns for investors in Italy's biggest bank, its chairman said, following a decision to suspend dividend payments and a share buyback to comply with supervisory guidance.
The decision on payouts prompted by the regulatory response to the new coronavirus crisis has come as a blow to UniCredit CEO Jean Pierre Mustier's strategy of focusing on boosting shareholder returns after shelving plans for a cross-border merger.
"This objective will be achieved through a renewed determination, also following the board's decision not to pay dividends until at least October 2020 and to withdraw the request for a share buyback," Chairman Cesare Bisoni said in the text of a speech delivered at Thursday's annual general meeting.
The AGM is being held behind closed doors due to the pandemic.
(Reporting by Valentina Za; editing by Agnieszka Flak)