* Q3 EPS C$1.66 vs forecast C$1.64
* Quarterly dividend C$0.79, up C$0.03 (Adds further CEO comment, capital ratio)
TORONTO, Aug 29 (Reuters) - Bank of Nova Scotia, Canada’s third-biggest lender, reported stronger than expected third-quarter results, driven by a robust performance from its domestic and international operations.
The bank said on Tuesday that earnings per share increased to C$1.66 ($1.33) in the quarter to June 30 from C$1.54 a year ago. Analysts had on average forecast earnings of C$1.64, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S data.
“The bank delivered strong quarterly earnings, generating double digit growth in our Canadian and international personal and commercial banking businesses,” Chief Executive Brian Porter said in a statement.
The bank reported net income of C$2.10 billion, compared with C$1.96 billion a year ago.
Net income at the bank’s Canadian business grew by 12 percent to C$1.05 billion, benefiting in part from gains on the sale of real estate, as well as loan and deposit growth.
Net income from the bank’s international business rose by 16 percent to C$614 million, reflecting loan and deposit growth and benefits from cost-cutting.
Scotiabank, which has the biggest foreign presence of any Canadian bank, is focusing its international strategy on the Pacific Alliance, a Latin American trade bloc comprising Mexico, Peru, Chile and Colombia.
The bank’s core tier 1 ratio, a key measure of its financial strength, was 11.3 percent, among the highest of major Canadian banks. Porter said this gave the bank “flexibility to grow and invest in our businesses as well as return capital to shareholders”.
Scotiabank reported an increase in its quarterly dividend of 3 cents to C$0.79, up 7 percent from the same quarter a year ago.
$1 = 1.2462 Canadian dollars Reporting by Matt Scuffham, editing by Louise Heavens and Jane Merriman