Swedbank report sparks stock market rally

Swedbank report sparks stock market rally
A unexpectedly strong report from Swedbank helped lift the Stockholm stock exchange on Thursday morning.

By 10am, Swedbank shares were up 13 percent, while the overall market had added 2 percent.

Swedbank reported an operating profit of 4,580 million kronor ($769 million) in the second quarter 2008. This can be compared to a profit of 4,000 million kronor in the corresponding period of last year.

Net credit losses amounted to 423 million kronor in comparison with 102 million kronor in the corresponding period of 2007.

Total operating income during the quarter amounted to 9,433 million kronor, up from 8,226 million kronor in the second quarter 2007. Total operating expenses amounted to 4,430 million kronor, up from 4,124 million in the corresponding period of 2007.

Swedbank’s net interest income amounted to 5,295 million kronor, up from 4,591 million kronor.

“Swedbank´s stable earning capacity led to solid results in all business areas for the first half of 2008. The profit of 6.5 billion kronor for the first six months is our highest ever. In light of current market conditions, Swedbank’s stable earning capacity is a huge asset,” wrote CEO Jan Lidén in the company’s interim report.

The Board of Directors has approved a new capital adequacy objective: that the primary capital ratio shall be 8.5-9.0 percent.

“Given its risk profile, Swedbank is considered well capitalized,” Lidén wrote.

Lidén concluded that the Baltic region’s macroeconomic development was weaker than expected during the second quarter but that the business area is expected to maintain “a robust earning capacity and net profit.”