Banking group Handelsbanken third-quarter results increase

Business Materials 22 October 2008 14:21 (UTC +04:00)

Swedish banking group Handelsbanken on Wednesday outdid analyst expectations and reported higher third-quarter operating profits and net interest income, reported dpa.

Handelsbanken was the first of the Nordic nation's four major banking groups to report results amid the ongoing financial turmoil.

Operating profits were up 6 per cent to 3.78 billion kronor (510 million dollars), the group said attributing this to "higher net interest income and lower costs."

Net interest income increased 9 per cent to 4.85 billion kronor, while total income was 7.12 billion kronor, up 11 per cent compared to the corresponding business period in 2007.

Loan losses were 231 million kronor, compared to 571 million kronor in second-quarter 2008.

Chief executive Par Boman told analysts the bank was willing to take part in a stability fund worth 15 billion kronor that the Swedish government has proposed as part of a plan to restore stability in the financial system.

The bank was still considering if it would join a voluntary guarantee programme that the government has said would total 1,500 billion kronor and initially scheduled to run until April 2009.

Handelbanken shares were up over 2 per cent in mid-morning trading while the Stockholm bourse OMXS index was down 1 per cent.

In addition to Sweden, Handelsbanken has operations in Denmark, Finland, Norway, and Britain.