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STOCKHOLM Jan 31 Swedish banking group SEB
reported on Thursday a smaller than expected fall in
fourth-quarter operating profit and said it would try to boost
its return on equity to 15 percent in the long term.
SEB's operating profit in the quarter fell to 2.84 billion
crowns, beating a mean forecast for 2.54 billion in a Reuters
poll and compared with 3.06 billion in the year-ago period.
Return on equity in the quarter was 11.9 percent.
SEB said it aimed to pay a yearly dividend that was 40
percent or above of earnings per share. It raised the payout for
2012 to 2.75 crowns a share from 2011's 1.70.
(Reporting by Mia Shanley, editing by Patrick Lannin)