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Handelsbanken reports lower Q3 profit, will wind down Asia, Germany operations

Sweden-based Svenska Handelsbanken AB (publ) reported a third-quarter profit drop and said it will discontinue its Asia and Germany operations.

The bank said third-quarter profit attributable to shareholders dropped 13% year over year to 3.57 billion Swedish kronor from 4.11 billion kronor.

EPS for the period stood at 1.81 kronor, compared to 2.09 kronor in the third quarter of 2018.

Return on equity fell to 10.0% from 12.1% year over year.

Handelsbanken said it is making a change in its strategic direction to focus on its core business. It will concentrate its presence outside its main home markets to the branches in Luxembourg and New York. It will wind down its Asia operations, and will also discontinue its operations in Germany.

Net interest income came in at 8.05 billion kronor, up 2% from 7.86 billion kronor in the year-ago period. Net fee and commission income increased to 2.72 billion kronor from 2.62 billion kronor.

Net gains on financial transactions increased by 46% on a yearly basis to 271 million kronor. Net credit losses were 192 million kronor, compared to 230 million kronor in the third quarter of 2018.

For the nine months ended Sept. 30, the bank's attributable profit amounted to 12.54 billion kronor, compared to 13.34 billion kronor in the first nine months of 2018.

The bank's common equity Tier 1 ratio stood at 17.4% as of Sept. 30, compared to 17.1% at June-end and 21.7% at the end of Sept. 30, 2018.

As of Oct. 22, US$1 was equivalent to 9.63 Swedish kronor.