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Bank of Nova Scotia Fourth-Quarter Profit Rises 21% as Credit Improves

Bank of Nova Scotia, the country’s third-largest bank, said fourth-quarter profit rose 21 percent on declining loan losses.

Net income for the period ended Oct. 31 climbed to C$1.09 billion ($1.09 billion), or C$1 a share, from C$902 million, or 83 cents, a year earlier, the Toronto-based bank said today in a statement. It was the fifth straight profit increase for the bank.

Scotiabank joins Toronto-Dominion Bank, National Bank of Canada and other lenders this quarter that lowered provisions for bad loans as consumer credit quality improves. The bank said aside C$254 million for loan-loss provisions, a 39 percent decline from a year ago.

“I look at Scotia as a nice, reasonable balance of risk and reward,” Craig Fehr, an analyst at Edward Jones & Co., said before results were released. “Their business model carries an above average risk, given the geographies they operate in, but they’re good at it.”

Before one-time items, Scotiabank earned C$1.02 a share. That beat the C$1-a-share average estimate of 14 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg News.

Scotiabank fell 25 cents to C$53.97 in trading yesterday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. The shares have climbed 9.7 percent this year, compared with a 7.5 percent gain on the 10-member S&P/TSX Banks Index.

(Scotiabank will hold a conference call at 2 p.m. Toronto time. To listen, dial +1-800-814-4860 five to 15 minutes in advance, or visit www.scotiabank.com on the Internet.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Sean B. Pasternak in Toronto at spasternak@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: David Scanlan at dscanlan@bloomberg.net; David Scheer at dscheer@bloomberg.net.

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