Bank of Montreal on Tuesday reported a 5.3% gain in third- quarter net income, to $266 million.

Most of the improvement came from a $12 million gain on sale of the bank's global custody business and from increased credit card revenues. Results came to 91 cents a share, beating the analyst consensus by 8eight cents. Net income for the quarter, which ended July 31, was up 9% over the second quarter.

Shares in Bank of Montreal, Canada's third- biggest bank, with $150 billion of assets, plunged 14% this year after Canada's finance ministry ruled out a planned merger with Royal Bank of Canada. Canadian bank analysts attributed the decline to uncertainty over Bank of Montreal's strategy for the future.

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