Scotiabank gets international lift, beats earnings forecast

Tue May 30, 2017 1:20pm EDT
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By Matt Scuffham

TORONTO (Reuters) - Bank of Nova Scotia beat analyst expectations for second-quarter results on Tuesday, helped by a strong performance from its international business.

Scotiabank, which has the biggest foreign presence of any Canadian bank, is focusing its international strategy on the Pacific Alliance, a Latin American trade bloc comprising Mexico, Peru, Chile and Colombia.

"Our operations in the Pacific Alliance region had a particularly strong performance in the quarter," Chief Executive Brian Porter said.

Scotiabank said earnings per share, excluding one-off items, rose to C$1.62, compared with C$1.46 a year earlier. Analysts had on average forecast earnings of C$1.56 per share, Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S data showed.

"Scotia did better than forecast with results in international a standout, a distinct positive given that these operations are the bank's key differentiator," said Barclays analyst John Aiken.

The bank's core tier 1 capital ratio, a measure of its financial strength, was 11.3 percent at the end of the quarter on April 30, among the highest of major Canadian banks.

Porter said that gave the bank flexibility to make acquisitions.

"There will be opportunities to do that over the course of the next year, I suspect," he told analysts on a conference call. "When we see something that's on strategy we'll take a hard look at it."   Continued...

A woman leaves a Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank) branch in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, May 31, 2016. REUTERS/Chris Wattie