PRAGUE Feb 9 Czech lender Komercni Banka
reported a slightly steeper-than-expected rise in
fourth-quarter net profit, and proposed a dividend of 40 crowns
($1.58) per share from its 2016 net profit attributable to
The lender's fourth-quarter attributable net profit rose 6.1
percent to 3.05 billion crowns ($120.65 million), slightly above
analysts' average estimate of 3.01 billion crowns, according to
a Reuters poll.
Komercni Banka, majority owned by France's Societe Generale
, said on Thursday the dividend payout, which was in
line with expectations, represented 55.5 percent of its 2016
profit, and that the board intended to propose a dividend payout
of 60 percent of net profit to be achieved in 2017.
The lender said its 2016 profit rose 7.3 percent to 13.69
billion crowns ($541.11 million), including a one-off gain of
700 million crowns from the sale of an interest in its
Komercni Banka, whose core Tier 1 capital ratio stands at
16.2 percent, said its loan book grew by 8.6 percent in 2016,
while deposits grew 7.4 percent.
The export-reliant Czech economy is expected to have
expanded by around 2.5 percent last year and is forecast to grow
at a similar pace in 2017.
With inflation hitting its 2-percent target in December, the
Czech central bank is expected to abandon its weak crown policy
in the second quarter.
Komercni Banka's cost of risk, reflecting provisions against
losses from loans and investments, dropped in the quarter to 593
million crowns from 633 million in the same quarter last year.
Net banking income fell 2 percent, with net fees decreasing
by 9.4 percent and net interest income down by 1 percent.
($1 = 25.2790 Czech crowns)
(Reporting by Robert Muller and Petra Vodstrcilova; Editing by
Subhranshu Sahu and Amrutha Gayathri)