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Commerzbank profit declines in fourth quarter amid weak markets and restructuring

Commerzbank report in investigated on Thursday a 51 percent decline in net profit in the fourth quarter amidst weak markets and as the German lender focuses on a major overhaul.

The 90 million euro ($110.5 million) three-monthly net profit at Germany’s second-largest lender after Deutsche Bank was greater than expectations of 69.7 million euros, according to a Reuters poll of nine banks and brokerages.

The lender, nevertheless partly owned by the German government, is in the midst of an overhaul program. It is modifying its staff while focusing on digitizing its back office and expanding its retail buyer base.

“So far we made good progress in 2017,” Chief Executive Martin Zielke reported in a statement. “However, it is also clear that we still have some resolve ahead of us before we can achieve the profitability we are aiming for.”

For the full year of 2017, the bank piled a net profit of 156 million euros, down 44 percent from a year ago, but making high-minded on its own promise to eke out a “slightly positive” net profit.

In a sign of the bank’s improving fiscal health, its Common Equity Tier 1 capital ratio rose to 14.1 percent from 13.5 percent at the end of the third post.

Zielke said the bank aimed to resume dividend payments for 2018.

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