STOCKHOLM (Reuters) -Swedish banks SEB and Handelsbanken both delivered better-than-expected quarterly profit gains on Wednesday to send their shares higher even as the war in Ukraine and surging inflation began redrawing the economic outlook. Net profit at SEB rose to 6.40 billion Swedish crowns ($652 million), easily beating a mean forecast of 4.93 billion crowns in a Refinitiv poll of analysts. Meanwhile, operating earnings at Handelsbanken rose to 6.59 billion Swedish crowns ($671 million) from 5.31 billion crowns a year earlier.
Sweden's Handelsbanken said on Tuesday it would exit Denmark and Finland, as it saw little chance to grow without making major investments in those markets. Handelsbanken, one of Sweden's oldest banks and a major mortgage lender, said new regulatory frameworks meant the bank needed central staff functions and infrastructure in each market and that the synergies had decreased for small markets. "Despite a lasting presence in these markets, the bank's market position remains small and the bank sees little opportunity to scale up its offering without significant investment," Handelsbanken said in a statement, adding that the process to divest the operations had been initiated.
(Reuters) -French payments firm Worldline missed half-year operating earnings expectations on Tuesday, triggering a sharp drop in its share price as investors were disappointed it had not benefited more from shop reopenings after lockdowns. The company, which also announced it was buying Handelsbanken's card-acquiring activities in the Nordic countries, said half-year sales totalled 2.27 billion euros ($2.67 billion). Worldline shares were down 8% by 0850 GMT, wiping out a 7.3% rise since the start of this year.