UPDATE 1-Jyske Bank Q3 profit tops forecasts as writedowns fall
* Q3 pretax 620 mln DKK vs 372 mln f'cast
* Reiterates sees total 2012 loan impairments of 1.6-2.0 bln
* Shares rise 3.8 pct in negative wider market (Adds details, background, quotes, share price)
COPENHAGEN, Oct 18 (Reuters) - Denmark's Jyske Bank A/S reported a bigger-than-expected jump in third-quarter pretax profit after posting its lowest level of writedowns since the start of the financial crisis.
Denmark is the weakest economy in the Nordic region and its banks have been slowly recovering from a burst property bubble and heavy writedowns on loans to struggling farmers.
Following a dismal second quarter, hit by heavy impairment charges due to new writedown rules, Jyske - Denmark's second-biggest bank by market capitalisation - reported a 620 million crown ($109 million) pretax profit, buoyed by rising income and sharply lower loan impairment charges.
That beat the average forecast of 372 million crowns in a Reuters poll and was almost six times what it earned in the year-ago period.
"The profit generated in the third quarter confirms the sound underlying development we have seen year-to-date," Chief Executive Anders Dam said in a statement on Thursday.
The bank, the first of the major Nordic banks to report earnings for the third quarter, posted marginally higher net interest and fee income.
It had slipped deep into the red in the second quarter after being forced to take almost 1 billion crowns in impairment charges and provisions for losses.
"The fall in writedowns certainly help improve earnings," said Nykredit analyst Mads Thinggard. "This is the lowest level of writedowns for the bank since the start of the crisis."
The outlook remains uncertain, however, and Thinggard added that it was too early to tell whether the bank would see increases in writedowns in the future.
Jyske Bank said total 2012 loan impairment charges and provisions were still expected to be between 1.6 billion and 2.0 billion crowns, up from 1.5 billion in 2011.
Jyske Bank is expected to take part in consolidation in Denmark's fragmented banking industry and Dam told Reuters it had up to 19 billion crowns ready for purchases.
"There are many options out there," he said.
Jyske Bank shares traded up 3.8 percent at 0723 GMT, against a 0.4 percent rise in the Nordic banking sector index. ($1 = 5.6853 Danish crowns) (Reporting by Mia Shanley, Mette Fraende and Ole Mikkelsen; Editing by David Holmes)
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