National Bank of Canada posts better-than-expected profit

* Targets 10.5 pct core tier 1 ratio next year* Bank has been steadily rebuilding capital* Q4 EPS C$1.24 vs C$1.21 average forecast

(Adds CEO comment on capital)TORONTO, Dec 2 National Bank of Canada
on Friday reported better-than-expected profit for the fourth
quarter of its fiscal year and said it planned to further
strengthen its capital position next year.Canada’s sixth-biggest bank based on assets raised C$300
million ($226 million) through a share offering last year after
its core tier 1 ratio, a key measure of financial strength, fell
to the 9.5 percent minimum required by the country’s financial
regulator.Since then, it has rebuilt its capital buffer to 10.1
percent at the end of October and Chief Executive Louis Vachon
said he wanted to continue that progress and bring the bank’s
core tier 1 ratio up to 10.5 percent.

“I think we want to get to ten-and-a-half pretty quickly,
either by the end of Q2 or Q3 at …