Sparebanken Vest revised its dividend and return on equity expectations as it reported year-over-year increases in both second-quarter and first-half pretax profits.
CEO Jan Erik Kjerpeseth said the Norwegian lender now expects to pay around 40% of profits as dividends for the 2018 financial year, compared to the previous projection of lower part of the 25%-50% range.
Additionally, Sparebanken Vest revised its long-term target for ROE to 12% from 11%, with a number of factors, including flat cost development and good credit quality, expected to help achieve the goal, according to Kjerpeseth. The bank's ROE stood at 14.9% at the end of June, compared to 10.7% a year earlier.
Meanwhile, Sparebanken Vest said it will invest up to 25 million Norwegian kroner in fintech company Folio AS, with both parties also working on launching a joint venture in the national small and medium-sized enterprise market.
The lender reported pretax profit of 630 million kroner in the second quarter, up from 436 million kroner a year earlier. First-half pretax profit increased on a yearly basis to 1.08 billion kroner from 868 million kroner.
As of Aug. 15, US$1 was equivalent to 8.49 Norwegian kroner.