Morgan Stanley issues $705.6 million in stock for employee bonuses

NEW YORK Thu May 16, 2013 6:15pm EDT

Investment bank Morgan Stanley is pictured in New York City, September 17, 2008. REUTERS/Mike Segar

Investment bank Morgan Stanley is pictured in New York City, September 17, 2008.

Credit: Reuters/Mike Segar

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Morgan Stanley (MS.N) has issued 30 million shares as part of the Wall Street bank's employee bonus plan, according to a securities filing.

Morgan Stanley valued the stock at a maximum offering price of $705.6 million, or $23.52 per share, based on the average of its high and low share prices on May 9, according to an S-8 filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Shareholders approved the issuance on Tuesday at the company's annual meeting.

Morgan Stanley has not bought back stock to soak up dilution in some time as it tries to preserve capital, and is using excess funds to buy the rest of its wealth-management joint venture from Citigroup Inc (C.N). Chief Executive James Gorman said on Tuesday that the bank hopes to increase buybacks soon.

The new issuance represents about 1.5 percent of Morgan Stanley's outstanding stock. It was less than the 50 million shares the bank issued the previous year for employee bonuses, reflecting lower compensation costs and a sharp rise in Morgan Stanley's share price that allowed the bank to issue fewer shares per bonus dollar.

Morgan Stanley booked $15.6 billion in compensation and benefits expenses last year, down from $16.3 billion in 2011.

(Reporting by Lauren Tara LaCapra; Editing by Eric Walsh)

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