UPDATE 2-National Bank of Canada profit boosted by ABA purchase

Wed Aug 31, 2016 9:24am EDT
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* Net income up 6 percent

* Results benefit from ABA acquisition in May

* Provision for credit losses drastically reduced (Adds analyst comment, further details on earnings)

TORONTO, Aug 31 (Reuters) - National Bank of Canada reported a 6 percent increase in quarterly profit on Wednesday, benefiting from a recent acquisition that enabled it to beat market expectations.

Canada's biggest banks have reported higher-than-expected results for the period. All six were able to drastically reduce provisions for bad loans because a partial recovery in the price of oil helped clients in the energy sector repay debt.

National Bank of Canada's provision for credit losses fell to C$45 million during the third quarter ended on July 31 from C$317 million at the end of the previous quarter.

Canada's sixth-biggest lender said net income rose by 6 percent to C$478 million ($365 million) from a year earlier, benefiting from the acquisition of Advanced Bank of Asia in May.

Earnings per share of C$1.31 beat the analysts' average estimate of C$1.20, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

However, Barclays analyst John Aiken said he believed core earnings, excluding the ABA contribution, were just 1 Canadian cent above the consensus estimate.   Continued...