International Business Fuels Scotiabank Earnings as It Looks to Buy BBVA Chile

By Cara Lombardo Features Dow Jones Newswires

Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS, BNS.T) got an earnings boost in its latest quarter from a rapidly growing international business, the company said Tuesday, the same day it announced an offer to buy a Chilean bank.

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Toronto-based Scotiabank, one of Canada's largest banks, earned 2.07 billion Canadian dollars ($1.62 billion) in its fourth quarter, up from C$2.01 billion a year earlier.

Still, the results missed analysts' expectations. Earnings per share climbed to C$1.64 from C$1.57 while revenue rose about 1% to C$6.81 billion. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected earnings per share of C$1.66 on revenue of C$7.08 billion.

Scotiabank Chief Executive Brian Porter said the results were driven by double-digit deposit and retail loan growth in the Pacific Alliance region, which includes Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, and strong results in the Caribbean and Central America.

The bank said Tuesday it submitted a C$2.9 billion ($2.2 billion) offer to Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA (BBVA, BBVA.MC) to buy its Chilean unit, a move that would further expand the bank's Latin American business. BBVA CEO Carlos Torres Vila called the offer, which was for a 68.19% stake in BBVA Chile and other companies, "very financially attractive."

More than half of Scotiabank's net income growth in its Canadian banking unit in its fourth quarter came from the sale of its HollisWealth business. The bank's net interest income rose 5% from a year before, while nonfee income dropped 4% due to lower trading revenues, the HollisWealth sale and lower gains on real-estate sales.

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The bank's provision for credit losses decreased C$14 million to C$536 million. Noninterest expenses rose 1% as the bank spent money on technology upgrades and digital banking and the cost of employee benefits rose.

Write to Cara Lombardo at cara.lombardo@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 28, 2017 07:59 ET (12:59 GMT)