STOCKHOLM, April 30 Sweden's Handelsbanken
posted a bigger than expected rise in first-quarter
operating profit on Wednesday and said it was well prepared for
potentially tougher regulation of bank mortgage portfolios in
Operating profits in the quarter rose to 4.92 billion
Swedish crowns ($750 million), beating a mean forecast for 4.79
billion seen in a Reuters poll of analysts and compared with
4.34 billion in the year-earlier period.
It said a proposal by Sweden's financial watchdog to raise
the amount of capital needed to be put aside for possible losses
in bank mortgage portfolios to 25 percent from a current 15
percent would increase its capital requirement a further 9.2
"The bank's assessment is that the group will continue to be
well capitalised after a possible implementation," the bank said
in a statement.
(Reporting by Mia Shanley)