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STOCKHOLM, April 27 (Reuters) - Swedish banking group SEB reported first-quarter operating profit above expectations on Thursday, boosted by strong customer trading and liquidity management.
SEB, the Nordic region's top corporate bank, saw operating profit in the quarter rise to 5.53 billion Swedish crowns ($631.34 million), beating a mean forecast for 5.04 billion crowns in a Reuters poll and compared with a 1.46-billion-crown loss in the year-ago period.
"Corporate customers were active in the capital markets taking advantage of the low interest levels in the first quarter," newly appointed CEO Johan Torgeby said in a statement.
Net financial income, which includes customer trading and liquidity management, rose to 2.06 billion crowns from 1.39 billion crowns a year ago and was higher than the expected 1.63 billion crowns in the poll.
Net interest income, which includes revenue from mortgages and loans to companies, rose to 4.72 billion crowns from 4.64 billion crowns a year earlier and somewhat higher than a forecast of 4.69 billion crowns. Net commission income rose to 4.27 billion crowns, in line with the analyst forecast, from 3.90 billion crowns a year earlier.
Losses from loans came in at 204 million crowns, better than the 284 million crowns loss expected by analysts. ($1 = 8.7591 Swedish crowns) (Reporting by Johan Ahlander; Editing by Simon Johnson and Biju Dwarakanath)