SEB Q2 profits beat forecasts

STOCKHOLM, July 14 Mon Jul 14, 2014 1:12am EDT

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STOCKHOLM, July 14 (Reuters) - Swedish banking group SEB reported on Monday a better-than-expected rise in second-quarter operating profit and said the bank had continued to see increased business activity.

SEB's operating profit in the quarter rose to 5.3 billion Swedish crowns ($780 million), beating a mean forecast for 5.0 billion in a Reuters poll and compared with 4.8 billion in the year-ago period.

SEB, the first of the Swedish banks to report earnings for the quarter, said business sentiment had turned more positive as evidenced by higher Nordic and German corporate and capital market activities including IPOs and tenders.

"However, we are experiencing extraordinary times with very low inflation, low interest rates and more than six years of central bank liquidity support in the Eurozone and the US," said CEO Annika Falkengren. ($1 = 6.7950 Swedish Crowns) (Reporting by Mia Shanley and Johan Ahlander)

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