Popolare Sondrio posts higher 2013 net profit, raises dividend

MILAN, March 26 Wed Mar 26, 2014 4:09am EDT

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MILAN, March 26 (Reuters) - Italy's Banca Popolare di Sondrio reported on Wednesday a 55 percent increase in full-year net profit for 2013 to 53 million euros ($73.02 million) helped by higher trading and interest income, and proposed raising its dividend.

The mid-tier bank, one of 15 Italian banks whose assets are under review by the European Central Bank in a sector health check this year, said its best-quality Core Tier 1 capital stood at 7.89 percent at the end of last year.

Popolare Sondrio is planning to raise up to 350 million euros from investors to shore up its capital base. Banks under review by the ECB must hold core capital at least equal to 8 percent of their risk-weighted assets.

The bank said shareholders would meet to approve the share sale on April 26.

The bank proposed distributing a dividend of 0.05 euros a share from 0.033 euros last year.

Popolare Sondrio said that rising prices for government bonds had allowed it to book significant profits on its sovereign holdings.

Shares were down 0.27 percent at 4.386 euros by 0808 GMT. ($1 = 0.7258 Euros) (Reporting by Valentina Za)

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