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ABN Amro hints at dividend hike after third-quarter profit beat

ABN Amro hints at dividend hike after third-quarter profit beat
FILE PHOTO: The ABN AMRO bank building is pictured in Zuidas in this aerial shot of Amsterdam, Netherlands, June 14, 2017. REUTERS/Cris Toala Olivares/File Photo   -   Copyright  Cris Toala Olivares(Reuters)
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AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Dutch lender ABN Amro <ABNd.AS> aims to increase dividend payouts, after its third-quarter net profit beat analysts’ expectations with an 8 percent rise on the back of a strong economy.

Net profit was 725 million euros ($830.3 million), compared with 673 million euros a year earlier and 589 million euros expected by analysts in a Reuters poll.

ABN Amro has set aside 60 percent of its net profit over the first 9 months of the year for dividends, as it aims to increase the payout to shareholders from the 50 percent ratio reached last year, it said.

“We made good progress towards our financial goals,” Chief Executive Kees van Dijkhuizen said. “We will make a final decision on dividends at the 2018 results.”

The bank’s core capital adequacy ratio improved to 18.6 percent at the end of September, topping the 17.5-18.5 percent range ABN has deemed necessary for a dividend hike.

ABN Amro, one of three dominant banks in the Netherlands, aims to keep its capital buffers elevated as new banking regulations, known as Basel IV, look set to significantly shrink them once they fully come into effect.

($1 = 0.8732 euros)

(Reporting by Bart Meijer; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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