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UPDATE 2-Italy's FinecoBank plans to resume dividends soon

(Recasts, adds new details, CEO quotes)

Feb 9 (Reuters) - FinecoBank plans to pay a dividend as soon as regulators will allow it after the Italian lender posted a 19.2% rise in its 2020 adjusted net profit, as the coronavirus emergency boosted online banking services.

CEO Alessandro Foti did not give a specific amount for the excess capital the bank plans to distribute to its shareholders when the restrictions currently in place will be relaxed, probably by September.

“We want to have a capital base far higher than the sector’s average but our goal is not that to be the bank with the highest CET 1 ratio,” he said.

The bank has guided for a CET 1 ratio “floor” of 17% for 2021.

“If we were to project last months’ numbers on to the full year, expectations of growth in inflows and revenue generation would have to be revised upwards,” Foti told Reuters in an interview.

He added, however, that the bank wanted to “see a stabilisation before making any change to our guidance”.

The multi-channel bank said on Tuesday it expected revenues in its key brokerage business to remain strong this year after jumping 73% year-on-year to 229 million euros in 2020.

It also said it sees revenues in the investing business increasing high-teens compared with 2020.

Milan-based FinecoBank, which also offers trading and investment services, reported an 8.4% fall in net interest income (NII) to 63.9 million euros in the last quarter of the year.

“I have some aspiration to reverse the fall of net interest income”, Foti told analysts in a post-earnings conference call.

The group also said it had made a binding offer to buy a 20% stake in Hi-MTF Sim, which manages the multilateral trading facility Hi-Mtf, for about 1.25 million euro.

$1 = 0.8261 euros Reporting by Maria Pia Quaglia and Federica Urso, editing by Louise Heavens and Jane Merriman

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