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European Companies Seen Splurging $180 Billion on Buybacks

  • LVMH, L’Oreal and BP are among those repurchasing their shares
  • Large cash pile built in pandemic spurs pressure for payouts
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Fear and caution in European boardrooms may be fading, as a pick-up in buybacks shows rising confidence that more cash can be returned to shareholders instead of shoring up balance sheets.

Just as blue chips including LVMH, L’Oreal SA and BP Plc announce large buybacks, Societe Generale SA strategists estimate that European companies will spend 150 billion euros ($180 billion) to purchase their own shares next year. That’s a 25% jump from the average of 120 billion euros in the five years before the pandemic.