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Danske Gains as Danish Banking Market Improves: Copenhagen Mover

July 17 (Bloomberg) -- Danske Bank A/S, Denmark’s largest lender, gained the most among Copenhagen’s benchmark stocks as quarterly reports from Nordea Bank AB and Svenska Handelsbanken AB showed banking conditions in Denmark are improving.

Danske Bank rose as much as 1.1 percent to 102 kroner in the Danish capital, making it the best performing stock on the Nasdaq OMX Copenhagen 20 Index. The shares gained 0.8 percent to 101.7 kroner at 11:03 a.m. local time, with trading volumes at 12 percent of the daily average in the past three months.

Nordea’s net loan losses at its Danish retail unit fell for a third consecutive quarter, dropping to 77 million euros ($101 million) in the three months through June from 86 million euros in the first quarter. The bank had a total profit of 772 million euros. Operating profit at Handelsbanken’s branches in Denmark more than doubled to 194 million kronor ($29.4 million) in the second quarter as loan losses slumped 67 percent to 37 million kronor from the same period a year earlier.

“There were no negative surprises in today’s reports from Handelsbanken and Nordea as loan losses in Denmark continued to decline,” Christian Hede, a Silkeborg, Denmark-based analyst at Jyske Bank A/S, said in a telephone interview. “It confirms that the Danish economy is moving in the right direction.”

Danske, which operates Denmark’s biggest retail bank network and second-largest mortgage lender, held a 27.5 percent share of total Danish lending at the end of March, according to Danske Bank. Denmark’s economy stagnated in the first quarter after businesses invested less and government spending dropped.

To contact the reporter on this story: Peter Levring in Copenhagen at plevring1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tasneem Brogger at tbrogger@bloomberg.net

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