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Norway’s DNB beats Q1 profit forecast as economy reopens -Breaking


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO – A DNB sign can be seen at the bank branch in Stavanger (Norway) December 5, 2019. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins

OSLO (Reuters – Norway’s biggest bank DNB posted higher-than-expected earnings for the first quarter on Thursday. This reflects a healthy Norwegian economy as well as a high level activity in corporate markets following the end of pandemic lockdowns.

The January-March quarter net profit increased to 7.56 billion crowns (806.8 million), an increase of 5.89 billion from a year ago. This is higher than the 6.10 trillion expected by analysts according to a bank poll.

Kjerstin Braathen, Chief Executive Officer, stated in a statement that Norway has proven itself to be a unique country, with its strong economy and able to withstand international turmoil.

She said, “Numerous international customers sought to relocate to DNB and saw the bank as safe haven in an uncertain world,” but did not give more details.

The central bank of Norway resumed raising rates after cutting the rate in February 2020.

The current rate is 0.75 percent, but DNB expects to increase it. This will benefit DNB’s prospects because DNB can lend customers money at a higher rate.

Others Nordic banks reported higher-than-expected performance so far, with Sweden’s SEB reporting on Wednesday stronger income from mortgages as well as corporate clients. Lending losses have remained minimal.

The forecasts were stronger for Sweden’s Swedbank and Finland’s Nordea on Thursday.

($1 = 9.3707 Norwegian crowns)