Italian bank Intesa weathers EU budget storm, profits up

MILAN — Italian bank Intesa SanPaolo on Tuesday reported that its third-quarter profits rose 28 percent, mostly due to accounting changes to reflect the acquisition last year of two failing regional banks.

The bank's net income was 833 million euros ($952 million) in the three months ending Sept. 30. That compared with 650 million euros in the same period last year, a figure that was lowered to reflect liabilities from the purchase of Banca Popolare di Vicenza and Veneto Banca.

The bank said it is on track to deliver 2018 net income higher than last year's 3.8 billion euros.

Net fees and commissions dropped slightly to 1.92 billion euros in the third quarter, while interest income rose 2 percent to 1.84 billion euros. Provision for bad loans, meanwhile, dropped to 519 million euros, from 648 million in the third quarter of 2017.

The bank's Tier 1 ratio, a key measure of capital strength, rose to 13.7 percent despite pressure on its sovereign debt holdings because of investor concerns over Italy's budget and the country's confrontation with the EU.

Intesa said its stock of Italian debt is stable at 28.13 billion euros, with an average term of just under 5 years.

A Europe-wide stress test of banks published last week showed Intesa would have a capital padding of 10.4 percent in a simulation of market turmoil, above the 10.3 average.

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