UniCredit quarterly profit up, helped by Italian govt bond reduction

MILAN, Nov 7 (Reuters) - Italy’s biggest bank UniCredit on Thursday posted a 1.1 billion euro ($1.2 billion) net profit for the third quarter, meeting expectations thanks to trading gains which offset a drop in interest income.

Analysts had looked on average for a net profit of 1.01 billion euros on revenues of 4.57 billion euros, based on a consensus compiled by the bank.

The bank said its adjusted net profit for the quarter, which strips out non-recurring items, rose 26% from a year earlier.

It did not provide a comparison for its stated net profit, which last year was hit by a writedown of its Turkish assets and the settlement of an Iran sanctions case with Washington.

UniCredit, which late on Wednesday announced the sale of its stake in Mediobanca, said revenues totalled 4.7 billion euros in July-September, boosted by its trading business as the bank cut its portfolio of Italian government bonds.

Fees improved from a year earlier while income from the traditional lending activity shrank 5%.

UniCredit has cut its holdings of Italian government bonds by 3.6 billion euros in the quarter, taking advantage of a rally in Italian debt following the appointment of a pro-European government in September and fresh stimulus measures by the European Central Bank. (Reporting by Valentina Za, editing by Silvia Aloisi)