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Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo reported a 73 percent drop in fourth-quarter profits on lower net interest income and a drop in investment returns

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MILAN — Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo reported a 73 percent drop in fourth-quarter profits on lower net interest income and a drop in investment returns.

Italy's second-largest bank by assets, Intesa Sanpaolo reported Friday fourth-quarter net income of 13 million euros ($14.5 million), down from 48 million euros a year earlier.

Fees and commission income rose 6 percent to 1.9 billion euros, while net interest income fell 5 percent to 1.9 billion euros. Investments returns shrank to 1 billion euros form 12 billion euros.

For the year, Intesa profits rose to 2.7 billion from 1.25 billion euros in 2015, exceeding the bank's targets. The bank cited sustained growth in net fee and commission income as well as strong performing assets.

The bank said provisions were down, reflecting an improving credit trend.

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