February 6, 2019 / 7:20 AM / 14 days ago

MONETA Money Bank FY profit rises, boosts dividend

PRAGUE, Feb 6 (Reuters) - Czech lender MONETA Money Bank on Wednesday proposed a higher-than-expected 6.15 crown-per-share dividend after a rise in its 2018 net profit.

Its net profit rose 7.1 percent to 4.2 billion crowns ($186.18 million), beating its own estimate of 4.1 billion crowns.

MONETA had earlier forecast a dividend of 5.6 crowns per share for 2018.

The bank said a return to growth in net interest income, sale of bad loans as well as lower cost of risk helped it outperform its guidance.

MONETA is in the middle of talks to acquire Air Bank from the richest Czech businessman Petr Kellner’s Home Credit group to help it grow. It said last month it was renegotiating some conditions.

The company said on Wednesday the deal price and structure were under discussion and a final proposal should be approved by management and the supervisory board, likely by the second week of March.

$1 = 22.5590 Czech crowns Reporting by Jason Hovet; Editing by Shreejay Sinha

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