Danske Bank denies report it plans to sell Sweden, Norway ops

STOCKHOLM/COPENHAGEN Tue May 6, 2014 6:27pm EDT

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STOCKHOLM/COPENHAGEN May 6 (Reuters) - Denmark's biggest listed lender Danske Bank denied a Swedish newspaper report on Tuesday it was planning to sell its Swedish and Norwegian operations, saying they were core to the bank's operations.

Swedish business daily Dagens Industri reported late on Tuesday, without citing sources, that the Danish bank has made initial contact with potential buyers, saying many Swedish and Norwegian banks should be interested.

Kenni Leth, a Danske Bank spokesman, said the information reported in the paper was not correct.

"Norway and Sweden are a part of our core activities and we see them as strategically important markets which we want to develop and where there are good opportunities to grow organically," he said.

Danske Chief Executive Thomas Borgen told Reuters last week the bank was fully committed to Norway and Sweden. The bank raised its full-year profit guidance after it posted its highest quarterly earnings since the global financial crisis, beating expectations thanks to cost cuts and lower writedowns on loans. (Reporting by Mia Shanley, Teis Jensen in Copenhagen and Terje Solsvik in Oslo; Editing by Eric Walsh)

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