UPDATE 1-Financial markets help National Bank of Canada's profit

Fri Dec 5, 2014 9:09am EST
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Dec 5 (Reuters) - National Bank of Canada, the country's sixth-largest lender, reported a 14 percent rise in adjusted quarterly profit, led by its financial markets and wealth management businesses.

Earnings in the bank's main personal and commercial lending business rose 7 percent to C$178 million ($156 million), restrained by a narrowing of net interest margins.

National Bank joins Royal Bank of Canada as the only major Canadian banks to have met or exceeded market expectations for fourth-quarter profit.

National Bank's net profit rose to C$330 million, or 91 Canadian cents per share, in the quarter ended Oct. 31 from C$320 million, or 90 Canadian cents, a year earlier.

Excluding special items, the Montreal-based bank earned C$1.14 per share, matching the average analyst estimate, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Excluding items, net income jumped 29 percent to C$80 million in the wealth management business and 21 percent to C$150 million in the financial markets division.

Trading revenue fell in equities and fixed-income businesses but rose 42 percent in the commodities and foreign exchange business. Financial market fees jumped 33 percent, driven by greater equity issuances in the markets.

National Bank's net interest income, the difference between what a bank pays on deposits and earns on loans, rose 8 percent to C$641 million.

The bank raised its quarterly dividend by 2 Canadian cents to 50 Canadian cents per share. ($1 = 1.1423 Canadian dollars) (Reporting by Ashutosh Pandey in Bengaluru; Editing by Don Sebastian)