* Q4 net profit CZK 3.04 bln vs CZK 2.89 bln in poll
* Dividend proposed at CZK 230/share, up from CZK 160
* Shares rise to 3-week high to lead Prague stocks
(Adds share reaction, more earnings details)
By Jason Hovet and Jana Mlcochova
PRAGUE, Feb 13 Komercni Banka's
fourth-quarter net profit rose more than expected and the Czech
lender said it would pay a higher dividend after reducing
provisions following a hit on Greek government bond holdings the
The bank, majority owned by France's Societe Generale
- which posted a loss in the fourth quarter - said it
would raise its dividend to 230 crowns per share from 160 crowns
the year before.
Shares rose 2.3 percent in early trade, hitting a three-week
high and leading gains on the Prague index.
Net profit in the final quarter of 2012 rose 24.7 percent
year-on-year to 3.04 billion crowns ($161.4 million), above the
average estimate of 2.89 billion in a Reuters poll of 12
The bank, the Czech Republic's third-largest by assets,
reduced provisioning for bad loans and securities by 69.5
percent, having in the same period last year taken a 1.06
billion crown impairment on the value of Greek bonds.
Gross lending rose 4.1 percent in the year as a whole, led
by mortgage loan growth thanks to low interest rates and
stabilising low property prices, Komercni Banka said.
But net banking income, while flat on the year, dropped 5.1
percent in the fourth quarter mainly due to lower net interest
income and income from financial operations.
The Czech economy has fallen into a shallow recession and
has not grown since mid-2011, pushing the central bank to cut
interest rates to effectively zero, dragging on bank earnings.
Czech banks came out of the global financial crisis
relatively unscathed, though, and the central bank has said the
sector was resilient to potential shocks due to having a capital
buffer more than twice as large as the threshold set by European
($1 = 18.8366 Czech crowns)
(Editing by David Holmes)