Spanish bank Unicaja's 2Q net profit rises 87% on lower provisions

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MADRID, July 28 (Reuters) – Spain’s Unicaja, which has bought Liberbank to create Spain’s fifth-largest bank in terms of assets, on Wednesday said its net profit rose 87% in the second quarter from the same period last year on lower COVID-19 provisions.

The lender reported a net profit of 28 million euros ($33.08 million) in the April to June period.

Analysts polled by Reuters expected a net profit of 27 million euros.

European banks are struggling to cope with low interest rates, and the economic downturn sparked by the pandemic is forcing a focus on cost cuts, including through tie-ups.

Net interest income, or earnings on loans minus Deposit Pocketoption cost, rose around 2% to 140 million euros but fell close to 4% against the previous quarter.

Analysts expected NII to come in at 143 million euros.

Unicaja, which aims to save 192 million euros on gross costs by 2023 with the acquisition, increased its core tier-1 fully loaded capital ratio to 17.7% in June from 15.1% in March thanks to the approval by the ECB of new risk accounting models.

($1 = 0.8463 euros) (Reporting by Jesús Aguado, editing by Inti Landauro)

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