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J.P. Morgan halts buybacks of its shares

NEW YORK — J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. will suspend share buybacks in the wake of a $2 billion-plus trading loss in its chief investment office, the bank's chief executive said Monday as he declined to give a "running tally" on the loss.

Speaking at a financial-services conference organized by Deutsche Bank, Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO of J.P. Morgan, also said the bank would maintain its dividend.

"I've been asked a lot of questions about capital distribution," Dimon said. "I made the mistake at the shareholder meeting, saying I hoped to continue dividends. No, we intend to maintain the dividend."

But Dimon said the bank decided to suspend share buybacks in order to meet global regulatory requirements on higher capital levels, and not because of the size of trading losses.

"We intend to restart it (share buyback program), but we're not going to tell people when we do that," he said.

In a related development, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission is investigating the use of credit derivatives by J.P. Morgan's chief investment office, commission chairman Gary Gensler told reporters Monday. he didn't provide more details on what the commission was examining.

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