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Cembra Money Bank proposes higher dividend for 2017

Switzerland-based Cembra Money Bank AG's board will propose to shareholders an ordinary dividend of CHF3.55 per share for full year 2017, compared to CHF3.45 a year earlier.

Of the total proposed ordinary dividend, which reflects a payout ratio of 69%, CHF3 will be paid out of reserves from capital contributions while the remaining 55 centimes will be paid from retained earnings. The dividend will be paid April 24 to shareholders, pending approval at the company's April 18 annual general meeting.

The bank reported an unaudited net income of CHF144.5 million for 2017, compared to CHF143.7 million earned in 2016. EPS for the year amounted to CHF5.12, up from CHF5.09 a year earlier.

The bank's net revenues rose year over year to CHF396.3 million from CHF394.0 million, while total operating expenses came in at CHF167.9 million, compared to the year-ago CHF167.5 million.

The lender's common equity Tier 1 ratio stood at 19.2%, as of Dec. 31, 2017, down from 20.0% at the end of 2016.

For 2018, Cembra Money Bank expects EPS of between CHF4.80 and CHF5.10, assuming no major change in the current economic environment. The bank added that it expects its operating expenses to increase due to higher headcount and further investment in digitalization.