Scotiabank leads estimates as business lending grows

(Bloomberg) – Bank of Nova Scotia received a boost from its retail banking franchise in its fiscal fourth quarter, with businesses in Canada and abroad ramping up borrowing.

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Revenue for the Canadian banking unit grew 11% to C$3.13 billion ($2.33 billion) in the quarter ended October 31, the Toronto-based company said Tuesday. The overall profit topped analyst estimates.

Canadian companies have borrowed heavily this year to rebuild inventory and meet customer demand, and the trend continued last quarter, with business loans up 25% from a year ago. previous year. The Latin America-focused international division also posted higher revenue and profit, thanks to a 15% increase in business lending as well as an expansion in lending margin.

Net income fell 18% to C$2.09 billion, or C$1.63 a share. Scotiabank set aside C$529 million for credit risk provisions, up from C$168 million a year earlier. Revenue of the international unit grew 8.1% to C$2.5 billion, while net income increased 12% to C$679. The division’s net profit margin expanded to 4.08%, up 13 basis points from the third quarter.

Excluding certain items, Scotiabank’s overall profit was C$2.06 per share. Analysts estimate an average of C$2.01.

Chief Executive Officer Brian Porter, who will step down at the end of the current quarter, has spent years revamping the international unit by eliminating smaller and less profitable operations while building a presence of themselves in larger markets such as Chile and Mexico.

Scotiabank shares are down 20% this year, compared with a 7.4% drop in the S&P/TSX Commercial Banks Index.

(Update with business loans in third paragraph.)

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