Mediobanca's Q1 profit tops forecasts as M&A deals boost fees


MILANO, Oct 27 (Reuters) - Italian merchant bank Mediobanca MDBI.MI reported on Tuesday stronger-than-expected quarterly earnings, thanks to mergers deals in Europe that boosted income at its investment banking division.

As recommended by the European Banking Authority (EBA), the bank updated its dividend guidance for the current fiscal year, indicating a payout ratio of 70% instead of a dividend of 0.54 euros per share as targeted under a three-year plan CEO Alberto Nagel presented in November.

Such guidance remains subject to the European Central Bank removing restrictions on dividends currently in force until Dec. 31, 2020, the bank said in a statement.

Mediobanca posted a net profit of 200 million euros ($237 million), above an average analyst forecast of 140 million euros in a consensus compiled by the bank.

Earnings come ahead of a shareholder meeting on Wednesday called to appoint a new board. A shake up in Mediobanca's shareholder base over the past year has seen eyewear magnate Leonardo Del Vecchio, 85, emerge as the top investor with a 10.2% stake. ($1 = 0.8461 euros)

(Reporting by Gianluca Semeraro; editing by Valentina Za)

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