SOURCE: Paragon Financial Limited

Paragon Financial Limited

August 31, 2012 08:20 ET

Canadian Banks Continue to Rank Among the World's Strongest

The Paragon Report Provides Stock Research on Bank of Nova Scotia and Royal Bank of Canada

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Aug 31, 2012) - In the face of a global economic slowdown Canada's financial sector continues to be seen as one of the world's safest. The nation's banks have been recently ranked as the world's soundest by the World Economic Forum. The Paragon Report examines investing opportunities in the Canadian Banking Industry and provides equity research on The Bank of Nova Scotia (NYSE: BNS) (TSX: BNS) and Royal Bank of Canada (NYSE: RY) (TSX: RY).

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Royal Bank of Canada, Bank of Montreal, Bank of Nova Scotia, Toronto-Dominion Bank and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce have all increased their dividends after reporting strong third quarter earnings. Four Canadian banks are ranked among the world's six strongest banks according to Bloomberg Magazine. The average dividend yields of Canadian Banks are more than double those of U.S. banks.

"The balance sheets of banks in Canada are relatively healthy and they are very profitable entities, and that's what dividend increases show you," said Todd Johnson, a portfolio manager at BCV Asset Management. "It's going to be a lot slower growing business going forward, but it doesn't mean it's not a healthy industry."

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Bank of Nova Scotia reported third quarter net income of $2,051 million compared with net income of $1,303 million in the same period last year. Net income increased 57 percent year-over-year. Earlier this week the bank hiked their quarterly dividend by 3.6 percent to $0.57.

Royal Bank of Canada reported record net income of $2,240 million for the quarter ended July 31, 2012, up $946 million or 73 percent from the prior year. Royal Bank also increased its quarterly common share dividend by 5 percent to $0.60 per share payable on and after November 23, 2012, to common shareholders of record at the close of business on October 25, 2012.

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