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Originally published Wednesday, February 2, 2011 at 1:48 AM

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Sweden's Nordea posts Q4 profit rise

Nordea AB, the largest bank in the Nordic region, on Wednesday reported a 72 percent jump in fourth-quarter earnings, as interest income grew and loan losses shrank.

Associated Press

STOCKHOLM —

Nordea AB, the largest bank in the Nordic region, on Wednesday reported a 72 percent jump in fourth-quarter earnings, as interest income grew and loan losses shrank.

Nordea's net profit for the three-month period was euro769 million ($1.1 billion), up from euro448 million a year earlier. For the full year 2010, the Stockholm-headquartered bank reported profits of euro2.7 billion, compared with 2009's result of euro2.3 billion.

Nordea's share price edged up 0.7 percent to 80.15 kronor ($12.52) in early trading on the Stockholm stock exchange.

Net loan losses fell to euro166 million in the quarter, "the lowest level since the third quarter 2008," CEO Christian Clausen said. A year earlier, loan losses had reached euro347 million.

Net fee and commission income in the quarter climbed to euro618 million from euro463 million. The boost came mainly from Nordea's management, brokerage and lending areas.

Net interest income, the bank's main source of income, reached nearly euro1.4 billion from a previous euro1.3 billion.

(This version corrects to billion instead of million at end of second paragraph.)

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