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Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo returns to 4Q profit with higher commissions

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MILAN — Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo returned to a profit in the fourth quarter of 2014, thanks to higher net fees and commissions and improvements in the credit market.

Italy's second-largest bank by assets, Intesa Sanpaolo on Tuesday reported fourth-quarter net income of 48 million euros ($54 million), compared with a loss of 5.2 billion euros last year, when it write down investments to clear out its books ahead of a Europe-wide stress test.

Fees and commission rose 10 percent to 1.8 billion euros, while net interest income was down 2 percent to 2 billion euros.

For the year, Intesa posted profits of 1.25 billion euros, rebounding from a 4.5 billion euro loss in 2013. The bank said it has reduced its provisions for bad loans, reflecting improved credit trends.

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