STOCKHOLM Feb 8 Sweden's Handelsbanken
reported fourth-quarter operating profit below
expectations on Wednesday and proposed a lower-than-expected
annual dividend as rising loan losses weighed on the result.
Operating profit in the quarter fell to 4.70 billion Swedish
crowns ($529 million) from a year-ago 5.53 billion, lagging a
mean forecast for 4.99 billion seen in a Reuters poll of
The bank proposed a dividend of 5.00 crowns per share, lower
than the expected dividend of 5.61 per share.
($1 = 8.8783 Swedish crowns)
(Reporting by Johan Ahlander, editing by Johannes Hellstrom)