© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A DNB bank sign is seen on the bank’s branch in Stavanger, Norway December 5, 2019. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins
OSLO (Reuters) – DNB, Norway’s largest bank, posted better-than-expected first-quarter earnings, reflecting a strong Norwegian economy and a high level of activity in the corporate market, the company said on Thursday.
Net profit rose to 7.56 billion crowns ($806.8 million) for the January-March quarter from 5.89 billion a year earlier, beating the 6.10 billion expected by analysts in a poll compiled by the bank.
“Once again, we have seen that Norway as a country sets itself apart from other countries, with a robust economy despite international turmoil,” Chief Executive Kjerstin Braathen said in a statement.
“A number of international customers have sought to move to DNB, and see the bank as a safe haven in an unsettled world,” she said, without giving more specifics.
Norway’s central bank resumed raising rates in September, after a series of cuts in 2020 had left the country’s key policy rate at an unprecedented zero percent.
The rate is 0.75% currently but more rate hikes are expected, which will help DNB’s prospects as it can charge customers more for lending them money.
($1 = 9.3707 Norwegian crowns)
Norway’s DNB Q1 profit beats forecast