Commerzbank increases profit, continues to shed risk, bad assets

FRANKFURT – Germany’s Commerzbank says third-quarter net income rose by 15 per cent to 77 million euros ($104 million) as it cut costs and took fewer losses on shaky investments set aside for disposal.

The figure beat analyst estimates for 44 million euros in net income. The bank’s shares jumped 9.4 per cent to 10.19 euros and led Germany’s DAX blue-chip index in morning trading in Europe.

The bank’s non-core assets division cut losses to 272 million from 477 million a year ago. The division is winding down the bank’s commercial real estate and shipping loans. Commerzbank was required to leave some lines of businesses under European Union rules to offset the anti-competitive effect of state aid it received from the Germany government when it was bailed out in 2009.

Earnings were held back by larger losses for loans that aren’t being repaid, and by lower income trading securities.

Commerzbank, still part-owned by the German government, said it was making progress shedding risky investments and increasing its capital buffers.