Scotiabank profit rises 31 percent on wholesale banking
By Cameron French
(Reuters) - Bank of Nova Scotia BNS.TO capped off the fourth-quarter earnings season for Canadian banks with a slightly stronger than expected 31 percent profit gain on Friday, as strong wholesale banking income made up for more sluggish international growth.
Following the trend of most of its peers this quarter, profit gains were driven by trading and investment banking income, while domestic loan growth was steady despite worries that a cooling housing market will dry up demand.
The bank, Canada's third-largest, earned C$1.52 billion ($1.54 billion), or C$1.18 a share in the fiscal fourth quarter ended October 31. That compared with a year-before profit of C$1.16 billion, or 97 Canadian cents a share.
Excluding a charge for amortization of intangibles, the bank earned C$1.21, coming in slightly ahead of analysts' expectations of a profit of C$1.18 a share.
The bank's shares ended the session down 3 Canadian cents at C$55.53 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
Toronto-based Scotiabank boasts operations in more than 50 countries, with the heaviest weighting in Latin America and a growing presence in Asia.
Scotiabank's international consumer banking segment posted a 22 percent gain in profit to C$453 million, helped by the acquisition in January of Colombia's Banco Colpatria.
Compared with the third quarter, however, international profit rose only 2.5 percent and net interest income retreated. The result was also little changed from the second quarter, raising concerns about growth in the bank's most high-profile segment, said Barclays Capital analyst John Aiken. Continued...