(Corrects 2017 dividend to 1.20 (not 1.0) euros per share)
VIENNA, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Austrian lender Erste Group on Wednesday reported a 4 percent increase in 2017 net profit, buoyed by a rise in interest rates in eastern Europe and steady growth in banking fees and lending income.
Net profit rose to 1.31 billion euros ($1.60 billion) in 2017, in line with an average anlyst forecast of 1.29 billion euros in a Reuters poll, the bank said in a statement.
Erste Group said it would propose a dividend of 1.2 euros per share for 2017 after it payed 1.0 euro per share for 2016. ($1 = 0.8173 euros) (Reporting by Kirsti Knolle; Editing by Kim Coghill)