Finance

Dutch bank ABN Amro resumes dividend payments as Q2 net profit beats

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ABN AMRO logo is seen at the headquarters in Amsterdam, Netherlands May 14, 2019. Picture taken May 14, 2019. REUTERS/Piroschka van de Wouw

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AMSTERDAM, Aug 11 (Reuters) - Dutch bank ABN Amro (ABNd.AS)said on Wednesday it would resume dividend payments as an economic recovery in the Netherlands had helped a stronger-than-expected bounce in net profit.

Amsterdam-based ABN said net profit rose to 393 million euros ($460.48 million ) in the second quarter, as coronavirus restrictions were eased and companies gradually resumed business.

Analysts in a company-compiled poll had predicted an average net profit of 266 million euros for the April-June period.

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"Demand for corporate loans in the Netherlands is still muted as strong government support continues, but it is showing signs of stabilising and the pipeline is improving", Chief Executive Robert Swaak said.

Largely state-owned ABN released 79 million euros of impairments made during the coronavirus crisis, which partly offset a steep decline in net interest income as low rates continued to hurt its profit margins.

Net interest income fell 14% to 1.3 billion euros, missing analysts' expectations after a 11% decline in the first three months of 2021.

ABN said its capital position remained strong, allowing it to pay out suspended dividends over 2019 in October, and to remain committed to paying out 50% of its net profits to shareholders in the time to come.

($1=0.8535 euros)

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Reporting by Bart Meijer; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Kim Coghill

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