UPDATE 3-Scotiabank profit rises 31 pct on wholesale banking

Fri Dec 7, 2012 4:51pm EST
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* Profit beats estimates

* Wholesale banking income drives growth

* Shares end down slightly despite beat

* No guesses on when Bank of Guangzhou acquisition will close

* Canada's No. 3 bank final Canadian bank to report

By Cameron French

Dec 7 (Reuters) - Bank of Nova Scotia 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 Oct. 31. That compared with a year-before profit of C$1.16 billion, or 97 Canadian cents a share.   Continued...