PARIS (Reuters) - French's Natixis (CNAT.PA) posted a 57 percent rise in fourth-quarter net profit on Thursday, boosted by a surge in trading activity at its investment banking business.
The bank followed U.S. and French peers in reporting stronger revenue in fixed income and equity trading, driven by Donald Trump's surprise U.S. election victory in November and the U.S. Federal Reserve's decision to raise a key interest rate target in mid-December.
Natixis, a subsidiary of state-backed retail banking group BPCE, is in the late stages of a restructuring plan aimed at cutting costs and has been focusing on so-called asset-light businesses, such as asset management and insurance, in an effort to adapt to tougher European capital requirements.
The bank also announced the appointment of former Goldman Sachs banker Jean Raby as head of asset management, private banking and private equity business lines, with a place on the senior management committee.
France's fourth-biggest listed bank said it would pay a cash dividend of 0.35 euros per share for 2016, at a stable level compared with 2015.
Fourth-quarter net income rose to 496 million euros (422 million pounds) on net revenue up 12 percent to 2.52 billion euros, beating the average forecast of 2.3 billion euros in a Reuters poll of analysts.
Net revenue in its global markets division rose 28 percent in the quarter, boosted by fixed-income trading, in particular on the Americas and Asian platforms.
Reporting by Maya Nikolaeva and Julien Ponthus; Editing by Michel Rose and David Goodman