Bank of Nova Scotia’s recent stock surge can be partly explained by improving investor attitudes toward the lender’s exposure to energy loans, Chief Executive Officer Brian Porter said.

“We think the market has overreacted and I think that’s why you’ve seen a bounce in our stock price," Porter, 58, said Tuesday during the bank’s annual meeting in Calgary. “We’ve been through this before. We know how to lend money and we know how to steer our clients through tough times."

Scotiabank shares gained 13 percent this year, the best performance among the eight companies in the Standard & Poor’s/TSX Commercial Banks Index, which advanced 4.7 percent. The lender had C$17.9 billion ($14 billion) of oil-and-gas loans at the end of January, the most among its domestic rivals. That represented about 3.6 percent of Scotiabank’s total loans.

“Everybody looks at the big number and that’s not the way to look at it,” he said.

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