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Payment processor MasterCard boosts dividend 45 percent; approves $3.75 billion stock buyback

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NEW YORK — MasterCard will boost its quarterly dividend by 45 percent and announced Tuesday a plan to buy back up to $3.75 billion of its own stock.

The dividend hike arrives as Americans appear to be more willing to take on debt. In its most recent report, the Federal Reserve said that consumers borrowing rose $15.9 billion in September following a $14 billion gain in August and a $22.8 billion July increase.

The category that includes credit cards showed a $1.44 billion increase, a big rebound after consumers cut way back in the wake of the recession.

MasterCard investors will now receive a per-share dividend of 16 cents, up from 11 cents. The dividend will be paid on Feb. 9 to shareholders of record as of Jan. 9.

MasterCard said it still has about $275 million in stock to purchase from its previously approved $3.5 billion share buyback program.

Shares of MasterCard Inc., based in Purchase, New York, rose 11 cents to $87.57 in afternoon trading.

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