MILAN, May 9 (Reuters) - Italy’s third-largest bank Banco BPM said on Wednesday its net profit nearly doubled in the first quarter boosted by an asset sale and rising interest income.
Net profit at Banco BPM, which was born last year from the merger of Popolare di Milano and Banco Popolare, came in at 223.3 million euros ($265 million) in the first three months, up from 115.2 million euros a year ago when excluding a 3 billion euro gain arising from the merger in 2017.
Banco BPM said the sale of insurance assets to Cattolica Assicurazioni had yielded a capital gain of 176 million euros in the first quarter.
The bank said it had booked net loan writedowns for 326.2 million euros in the quarter and confirmed it would sell 5 billion euros in bad debts in the first half of the year. ($1 = 0.8438 euros) (Reporting by Valentina Za; editing by Agnieszka Flak)