- Associated Press - Thursday, February 7, 2019

MILAN (AP) - Italian lender UniCredit says fourth-quarter profits more than doubled on accelerated positive tax effects under Italy’s new budget law.

Italy’s largest bank by assets reported Thursday a 1.7 billion-euro ($1.9 billion) quarterly net profit, compared with 801 million euros in the same period last year. Net income rose by 5 percent to 2.7 billion euros while fees and commissions shrank by 1.4 percent to 1.65 billion euros.

Without the positive tax impact of 887 million euros, quarterly profits rose by 20 percent for the best fourth quarter in a decade.

Adjusted full-year earnings were up 7.7 percent to 3.8 billion euros.

The bank confirmed a net profit target for 2019 of 4.7 billion euros and a Core Tier 1 ratio, a measure of the bank’s health, of 12-12.5 percent.

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