MILAN (Reuters) - UniCredit CRDI.MI has put plans to split its domestic and foreign operations on ice, saying heavy bond buying by the European Central Bank kept its sovereign risk profile in check.
UniCredit reported a third-quarter net profit of 680 million euros ($798 million), above an average forecast of 334 million euros in a company-provided consensus, and higher core capital.
Unlike Intesa, which on Wednesday also beat expectations with a strong third quarter, UniCredit saw income from lending decline despite funds borrowed by the ECB at negative rates, after customers used government-guaranteed funds to repay loans.
Mustier said UniCredit, which slightly raised its target for cost cuts, would expand lending once the economy improved.
UniCredit CRDI.MI shares were up 0.7% at 1148 GMT against a flat European sector .SX7P.
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