UPDATE 1-Natixis Q1 profit rises 22 pct, helped by 'bad bank'

Mon May 6, 2013 11:54am EDT

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PARIS May 6 (Reuters) - French bank Natixis reported a 22 percent gain in quarterly net profit on Monday, helped by higher capital markets revenue and increased profit from its arm which is selling off toxic assets left over from the financial crisis.

Natixis, which in February said it would simplify its finances by shedding a 20 percent stake in BPCE, a network of cooperative lenders which itself controls Natixis, said profit rose to 337 million euros ($442 million) from 277 million a year ago excluding accounting adjustments on its own debt.

Revenue rose 3 percent to 1.83 billion euros, helped by a 5 percent gain in capital markets revenue as well as a slight uptick at its asset management unit.

Natixis' higher wholesale banking revenue follows results at larger rival BNP Paribas last week, which saw a 25.2 percent drop in revenue from capital markets trading and sales.

The other two main French banks, Credit Agricole and Societe Generale, are set to report results on Tuesday.

Natixis also reiterated Chief Executive Laurent Mignon's recent statement in a newspaper interview that the bank was aiming to wind down its "bad bank", which holds some billions of euros in toxic assets left over from the 2008 financial crisis, by mid 2014.

The unit reported a 13 million euro profit in the quarter compared with a 44 million loss in the year-ago period.

Natixis shares have soared 33 percent this year, substantially outperforming all of its French peers and No. 2 among European banks overall, helped by the BPCE stake-sale plan and an exceptional dividend it plans to pay out later this year. ($1 = 0.7624 euros) (Reporting by Christian Plumb; Editing by James Regan)

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