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Bank of Nova Scotia reports higher profit, boosts dividend

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[August 26, 2014]  TORONTO (Reuters) - Bank of Nova Scotia reported a higher quarterly profit on Tuesday as strength at its wealth management and insurance businesses boosted its bottom line and allowed Canada's No. 3 lender to raise its dividend.

Scotiabank also benefited from a C$555 million ($506.11 million) notable gain from the sale of most of its investment in fund manager CI Financial Corp.

The bank said it had earned C$2.35 billion, or C$1.85 a share, in the third quarter ended July 31, up from C$1.75 billion, or C$1.36 a share, a year earlier.

Excluding proceeds from the CI Financial sale and other non-recurring items, the bank said it had earned C$1.40 a share. Analysts had expected C$1.41.

The bank hiked its quarterly dividend by 2 Canadian cents to 66 Canadian cents per share.

Canadian personal and commercial banking income rose 3 percent to C$565 million, helped by increased loans and deposits and higher fee and commission revenues, which more than offset higher operating expenses and provisions for credit losses.

Global wealth and insurance profit jumped to C$846 million, boosted by the CI Financial sale. But the bank said excluding the transaction, underlying net income still grew by 6 percent.

Income at Scotiabank's international banking division, which spans Latin America and includes a sizable presence in Asia, slipped by C$80 million to C$410 million. The bank said this was due to a non-recurring after-tax benefit last year, and excluding this item, net income rose 3 percent.

(1 US dollar = 1.0966 Canadian dollar)

(Reporting by Jeffrey Hodgson; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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