UPDATE 2-Julius Baer on takeover trail as U.S. tax case nears end
* Underlying net profit 701 mln Sfr, misses poll estimate
* Proposes raising div by 10 pct, aims for 40 pct payout ratio
* Sees Swiss market consolidation, ready to pounce (Adds comments from call)
By Michael Shields and Angelika Gruber
ZURICH, Feb 1 (Reuters) - Swiss private bank Julius Baer is again looking for acquisitions now that a final settlement of U.S. allegations that it helped rich Americans dodge tax is within reach.
Provisions for the $547 million settlement, which has been approved by the Department of Justice but still needs a formal sign-off from a U.S. court, contributed to a fall of around two-thirds at Switzerland's third-largest listed bank in 2015.
Excluding the tax case, Julius Baer reported on Monday that underlying net profit rose by a fifth to 701 million Swiss francs ($686 million), lagging the 729 million average in a Reuters poll.
Julius Baer shares fell nearly 2 percent at the open.
Clarity on the U.S. tax case means Baer can turn its attention to its core business of advising the world's rich, which it said should get a boost from market volatility over the next three to five years. Continuación...