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Investments shore up earnings at Italy's Intesa SanPaolo

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MILAN (AP) — Italian bank Intesa SanPaolo says its 2018 earnings increased by a modest 5 percent as it refocuses its business on asset management.

The bank on Tuesday reported net income of 4 billion euros ($4.5 billion) compared with 3.8 billion euros a year earlier.

Investments on financial assets increased in the period by 22 percent to 1.6 billion euros, while net interest income and net fees and commission each declined 2 percent, to 7.2 billion euros and 7.8 billion euros, respectively.

Intesa said it expects net income to grow this year on higher revenues, cost cuts and the reduced cost of risk. The bank reduced its non-performing loan portfolio by more than a quarter over the year.

Fourth-quarter earnings dropped 27 percent, to 1 billion euros from 1.4 billion euros.

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