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Spain's Caixabank posts 164.5 percent profit leap on lower provisions

MADRID (Reuters) - Spain's third-biggest bank by market value, Caixabank (MCE:CABK), on Friday said nine-month net profit had more than doubled to 458 million euros, as it booked lower provisions against bad debts than a year ago.

The Barcelona-based bank, part of La Caixa, beat analysts forecasts for a 426 million euro net profit. It had made 173 million euros in the same period a year ago.

Caixabank said net interest income, or earnings from loans minus deposit costs, had risen 3.2 percent to 2.94 billion euros in the first nine months of the year, above analysts expectations in a Reuters poll.

The bank has benefited from several acquisitions in the past year, which lessened the drop/helped net lending income compared to some rivals.

(Reporting by Sarah White, Editing by Julien Toyer)