Norway’s biggest bank delivers earnings that beat even the most optimistic estimates.

DNB Norway bank

DNB ASA, Norway’s biggest bank, delivered second-quarter earnings that beat even the most optimistic estimates as impairments proved less dire than feared.

Shares in DNB soared more than 7% when trading started on Monday, marking its biggest spike since October.

The Oslo-based lender’s net income reached 4.77 billion kroner ($508 million) in the three months through June, well above the 2.35 billion kroner predicted in a Bloomberg survey of analysts. Impairments fell 63% from the first quarter, DNB said on Monday.

Thomas Eskildsen, an analyst at Handelsbanken, said trading and commission income also came in better than expected, providing a “positive read across” for the other big Nordic banks due to report earnings this week.

Click here for an overview of DNB’s 2Q numbers

The main bank in western Europe’s biggest gas and oil exporter said credit losses last quarter “were primarily related to customers in oil-related industries.” But otherwise, the “overall credit quality in the portfolio was stable during the quarter,” with the travel industry a notable exception.

DNB is the first of the big Nordic banks to report second-quarter results. And with some forecasters pointing to a milder economic crisis in the region than elsewhere, there’s a chance that Nordic banks may dodge the worst when it comes to impairments.

“In general, the macro forecasts that affect corporate customers were relatively stable compared to the first quarter of 2020, when the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the oil price fall were reflected in the forward-looking macro assumptions,” DNB said.

Chief Executive Officer Kjerstin Braathen said the situation remains “challenging for many.” Even so, “the Norwegian economy is landing on its feet, and in a number of areas, things are looking a lot brighter than they did at the end of last quarter.”

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