Dutch bank ABN Amro resumes dividend payments as second quarter net profit beats

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) – Dutch bank ABN Amro said on Wednesday it would resume dividend payments as the economic recovery in the Netherlands contributed to a stronger-than-expected rebound in net profit.

Amsterdam-based ABN said its net profit reached 393 million euros ($ 460.48 million) in the second quarter, as restrictions on coronaviruses were relaxed and companies gradually resumed operations.

Analysts in a survey conducted by the companies had predicted an average net profit of 266 million euros for the period April-June.

“Demand for business loans in the Netherlands is still muted as government support continues, but it is showing signs of stabilizing and the pipeline is improving,” said Managing Director Robert Swaak.

ABN, largely state-owned, released 79 million euros of write-downs made during the coronavirus crisis, which partially offset a sharp drop in net interest income as low rates continue to hurt its margins beneficiaries.

Net interest income fell 14% to € 1.3 billion, beating analysts’ expectations after falling 11% in the first three months of 2021.

ABN said its capital position remains strong, allowing it to pay suspended dividends over 2019 in October and remain committed to paying 50% of its net profits to shareholders in the times ahead.

($ 1 = € 0.8535)

(Reporting by Bart Meijer; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Kim Coghill)

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