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Bank of Montreal Says U.S. Retail Bank Purchases Unlikely

Feb. 26 (Bloomberg) -- Bank of Montreal, which bought Marshall & Ilsley Corp. in 2011 to double its U.S. presence, doesn’t see much opportunity for U.S. consumer bank acquisitions, Chief Executive Officer William Downe said.

“We don’t see much on the horizon,” Downe said today in a telephone interview from Toronto where the bank is based. “I think there’s an expectation on the part of owners that valuations are going to rise.”

Canada’s fourth-largest bank announced U.S. banking profit climbed 14 percent to C$182 million ($177.3 million), helping the lender top analyst estimates. Overall profit fell 5.5 percent to C$1.05 billion, or C$1.53 a share.

Bank of Montreal may continue to look at acquisitions outside of the U.S. in areas including wealth management, Downe said. Any purchase would have to be “strategically well-aligned” with the bank’s strategy, he said.

“There are many other things for sale that just don’t have those characteristics,” Downe said. “I think it’s just a question of probably one in 10, or one in 20 assets would be a good match for us.”

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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