March 5, 2013 / 1:47 PM / 6 years ago

Acquisitions drive Scotiabank profit increase

TORONTO (Reuters) - Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO) said on Tuesday that quarterly profit rose 13 percent, helped by higher markets-related income and the acquisitions of Canadian online lender ING Direct and Colombia’s Banco Colpatria.

The bank also raised its dividend.

The latest results capped a strong quarter of reporting for Canadian banks, which all managed to top estimates despite slowing growth in their core Canadian lending businesses. Four of the country’s top five lenders also raised their dividends, showcasing strong capital positions.

Scotiabank, Canada’s third largest, earned C$1.63 billion (US$1.58 billion), or C$1.25 a share, in the fiscal first quarter ended January 31. That compared with a year-before profit of C$1.44 billion, or C$1.20 a share.

Excluding certain items, the bank earned C$1.27 a share. Analysts had expected C$1.25 a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Income from the Canadian banking segment rose 21 percent to C$574 million, driven by the C$3.1 billion acquisition of online bank, ING Direct, from Dutch lender ING Groep ING.AS(ING.N).

International banking income surged 12 percent to C$416 million, helped by the Banco Colpatria acquisition.

Profit at its global banking and markets division, which includes trading, investment banking and advisory fees, rose 28 percent to C$399 million.

The bank raised its quarterly dividend by 5 percent to 60 Canadian cents a share.

Toronto-based Scotiabank operates in more than 50 countries, with the heaviest weighting in Latin America and a growing presence in Asia.

($1 = 1.0293 Canadian dollars)

Reporting by Cameron French; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe

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