MILAN Nov 14 Italy's No.5 bank by assets UBI
Banca said its net profit rose 22 percent in the first
nine months of the year thanks to strong trading gains.
The lender said net profit came in at 223 million euros,
compared with 182.7 million euros. Core Tier 1 ratio, a key
measure of financial strength, rose to 9.35 percent compared
with 9.2 percent at the end of June taking into account stricter
requirements by the European Banking Authority.
The bank is cutting or downsizing more than 100 branches and
shedding 1,500 jobs to cut costs, in line with other Italian
lenders that have embarked on major restructuring plans in the
face of the euro zone debt crisis and a deep recession on their
UBI, which has a market share of 6 percent in Italy, said its
loan book had shrunk by 8 percent on an annual basis, due to
weak demand and a reduction in its exposure towards large
companies. It said its stock of bad loans stood at 7.8 billion
euros at end-September, up from 6.3 billion euros at the end of
In line with big Italian lenders, UBI took advantage of an
easing of sovereign tensions to tap wholesale debt markets and
reduce its dependence on funding form the European Central Bank,
selling a 750-million-euro three-year bond last month, its first
visit to the senior sector this year.
(Reporting By Silvia Aloisi; Editing by Lisa Jucca)