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Popolare Milano Third-Quarter Profit Rises on Higher Revenue

Nov. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Banca Popolare di Milano Scrl, engulfed by an internal battle on governance, said third-quarter profit rose, boosted by increasing revenue that more than offset higher provisions for bad loans.

Net income was 28.8 million euros ($38.7 million), compared with 25.4 million euros in the year-earlier period, the Milan-based bank said in a statement today. Earnings beat the 20.4 million-euro average estimate of nine analysts in a Bloomberg survey.

Popolare di Milano has called a shareholders meeting for December to appoint a new supervisory board after Chief Executive Officer Piero Montani resigned, citing lack of confidence by employees and a “heated debate” between management and the supervisory board. Chairman Andrea Bonomi, who also announced his resignation, effective in December, halted a plan to revise governance.

“The real focus will, once again, be on governance rather than on results,” Anna Maria Benassi, an analyst at Kepler Cheuvreux, wrote in a note to clients last week.

The Bank of Italy asked managers to introduce more balanced governance after opposition from unions and employees led Bonomi and Montani to abandon a project in May to transform the bank into a joint-stock company. The bank was scheduled to present a new plan today.

Popolare di Milano rose 1.6 percent to 46.91 cents as of 5 p.m. in Milan trading, giving the bank a market value of 1.5 billion euros.

To contact the reporters on this story: Sonia Sirletti in Milan at ssirletti@bloomberg.net Francesca Cinelli in Milan at fcinelli@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net

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