WRAPUP 2-Canadian banks' shares rise as profits top estimates

Thu Aug 29, 2013 5:48pm EDT
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* Profits at Royal Bank, TD Bank, CIBC top estimates

* Domestic lending drives the profit beats

* Wholesale banking a weak spot

* TD, Royal Bank boost dividends

* Shares of all three banks rise, TD hits record high (Adds comments from TD CEO and from a fund manager, details on TD branch plans in the United States)

By Cameron French

TORONTO, Aug 29 (Reuters) - Three of Canada's biggest banks posted better than expected quarterly results on Thursday, pushing their shares higher as surprisingly strong retail lending and wealth-management income offset weakness in trading and investment banking.

Royal Bank of Canada and Toronto-Dominion Bank , the country's top two banks, both announced dividend hikes, while No. 5 lender Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce said it would buy back as much as 2 percent of its stock over the next 12 months.

The results close out a financial third-quarter reporting season in which Canada's top six banks all exceeded market earnings estimates on the back of domestic lending profits that churned higher despite predictions that a cooling housing market would slow growth to a trickle.   Continued...