UBI Q1 net drops 75 pct as cost of credit rises

MILAN Tue May 14, 2013 1:55am EDT

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MILAN May 13 (Reuters) - Italy's UBI Banca said on Tuesday its first-quarter net profit fell 75 percent to 26.5 million euros ($34.4 million) from a year ago, reflecting an increase in the cost of credit while net interest and financial income fell.

Italy's fifth-largest bank by branches said its Core Tier 1 ratio, a key measure of capital adequacy, edged up to 10.5 percent at the end of March from 10.29 percent at end-2012.

UBI said writedowns on loans rose in the quarter to 157.7 million euros from 131.2 million euros, reflecting deteriorating economic conditions in Italy. But they were expected to decline slightly in the year compared to 2012.

The bank said the cost of credit in 2013 should be lower than what seen last year in absolute terms.

Exposure to the European Central Bank remained unchanged at 12 billion euros, the bank said. ($1 = 0.7703 euros) (Reporting By Danilo Masoni; Editing by Lisa Jucca)

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