UPDATE 1-BMO profit rises on cap markets, lending; dividend raised

Wed May 28, 2014 8:17am EDT

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TORONTO May 28 (Reuters) - Bank of Montreal said on Wednesday its quarterly profit rose 12 percent, topping estimates, as strong capital markets and domestic lending income more than offset weakness at its U.S. retail bank unit.

The bank, Canada's fourth largest, also raised its dividend by 3 percent.

Net profit was C$1.08 billion ($993.51 million), or C$1.60 a share, for the second quarter ended April 30, up from C$962 million, or C$1.40 a share, a year earlier.

Excluding an amortization charge, BMO earned C$1.63 a share. Analysts had expected C$1.53 a share.

The bank hiked its quarterly dividend by 2 Canadian cents to 78 Canadian cents per share.

BMO, which earlier this month acquired Britain's F&C Asset management for C$1.3 billion, said profit at its Canadian retail bank rose 14 percent to C$480 million.

Its BMO Capital Markets unit earned C$305 million, up 17 percent, while wealth management income climbed 38 percent to C$194 million.

Profit at its U.S. Harris Bank unit declined 6 percent to C$140 million, hurt by narrower net interest margins.

BMO approximately doubled the size of its U.S. bank operation with the 2011 acquisition of Wisconsin lender Marshall & Ilsley, but the business has shown uneven results.

BMO is the fourth of Canada's top five banks to report second-quarter results. Larger rivals Royal Bank of Canada , Toronto-Dominion Bank and Bank of Nova Scotia all topped estimates for the quarter due in part to strength in their domestic lending and wealth management businesses.

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce will release results on Thursday. ($1 = 1.0871 Canadian Dollars) (Reporting by Cameron French, Editing by Franklin Paul and Chizu Nomiyama)

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