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National Bank Fourth-Quarter Profit Rises on Consumer Banking

National Bank of Canada, the country’s sixth-largest bank, said profit climbed for the ninth straight quarter on an increase in consumer banking. The lender increased its quarterly dividend by 5 percent.

Net income for the period ended Oct. 31 rose 20 percent to C$351 million ($354.1 million), or C$1.97 a share, from C$292 million, or C$1.62, a year ago, the Montreal-based lender said today in a statement.

National Bank said personal and commercial banking profit increased 7 percent to C$168 million because of higher revenue from lending and credit cards. Wealth management earnings fell 10 percent to C$45 million, and the bank’s Financial Markets business, which includes investment banking, rose 57 percent to C$124 million.

The lender increased its quarterly dividend to 83 cents a share, meeting expectations, according to Bloomberg Dividend Projections.

Excluding one-time items, National Bank earned 1.93 a share, matching the average estimate of 15 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

The bank set aside C$46 million for loan-loss provisions, down 8 percent from a year-earlier.

(National Bank will hold a conference call at 1:30 p.m. Montreal time. To listen, dial +1-416-340-2216 or 1-866-226-1792.)

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