NU Online News Service, Aug. 8, 3:55 p.m. – John Hancock Financial Services Inc., Boston, says it will increase the repurchase authorization for its common stock shares by $500 million. The increase represents an extension of the $500 million buyback program the company started in October 2000.

Under the program, Hancock will occasionally buy back common shares in the open market or through privately negotiated transactions, depending on market conditions, business opportunities and other factors, the company says.