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ABN Amro quarterly profit up 19%; bank to shed more jobs

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ABN Amro Group reported on Wednesday a better-than-expected 19 per cent rise in third-quarter underlying profit at 607 million euros (S$921.7 million), helped by a growing Dutch economy and fewer bad loans.

[AMSTERDAM] ABN Amro Group reported on Wednesday a better-than-expected 19 per cent rise in third-quarter underlying profit at 607 million euros (S$921.7 million), helped by a growing Dutch economy and fewer bad loans.

Analysts polled for Reuters had forecast the figure at 501 million euros, down from 509 million euros a year ago.

The company said it will shed an additional 1,500 positions to save another 400 million euros. In September, it had announced plans to cut between 975 and 1,375 jobs to save 200 million euros by 2020. "As a result of all programmes in place, the total workforce is expected to decline by 13 per cent from 26,500 in 2015 to approximately 23,000 by 2020," the bank said.

Last week, the company said it has chosen CFO Kees van Dijkhuizen to become CEO, replacing Gerrit Zalm, by mid-February.

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Mr Zalm, a former finance minister, was appointed in the wake of ABN Amro's 2009 nationalization, while Van Dijkhuizen joined ABN in 2013 and helped oversee the bank's re-privatisation a year ago.

In a statement, Mr Zalm attributed the rise in underlying profit to "continued robust net interest income, cost control and low impairments".

Eighty per cent of ABN's business is in the Netherlands since its carve up and nationalization around the time of the 2008 financial crisis.

Statistics Netherlands on Monday said the economy grew by 2.6 per cent in the third quarter from a year earlier due to a rebound in the housing market, making the Dutch economy one of the strongest in Europe.

REUTERS

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