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Mexico's Banorte posts 16 pct rise in 3rd-qtr profit

MEXICO CITY, Oct 20 (Reuters) - Mexico's Grupo Financiero Banorte, the country's fourth-largest bank by assets, on Thursday reported a third-quarter net profit 16 percent higher than the same period last year.

The bank, the biggest still owned by Mexicans, said it posted a quarterly net profit of 4.98 billion pesos ($256.7 million), thanks in part to an efficiency drive.

Banorte said its loan book, excluding bad loans, expanded 11 percent to $553.4 billion pesos.

($1 = 19.3820 pesos at end-September)

(Reporting by Gabriel Stargardter)