First Financial hikes dividend 20%

February 22, 2011

Business Courier: Date: Tuesday, February 22, 2011, 4:55pm EST

First Financial Bancorp is raising its quarterly dividend payment to shareholders 20 percent to 12 cents per share.

First Financial (Nasdaq: FFBC) paid back its Troubled Asset Relief Program borrowings of $80 million a year ago, paving the way for it to increase its dividend again. It will pay the higher dividend April 1 to shareholders of record March 4.

The downtown-based bank had cut its quarterly dividend from 17 cents a share to 10 cents two years ago. Its last dividend hike was in 2007.

First Financial, with $6.3 billion in assets, is Cincinnati's second-largest locally based bank.

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