ABN Amro: Q2 earnings up, warns of weak economy

ABN Amro Q2 earnings rise on one-time items; government privatization plan coming soon

Associated Press

AMSTERDAM (AP) -- ABN Amro NV, the bank that was nationalized by the Dutch government so it wouldn't go bust in 2008, says second quarter earnings rose slightly after one-off impairments were not as high as a year earlier.

Net profit reported Friday was 402 million euros ($537 million), up from 337 million euros in the same period of 2012.

CEO Gerrit Zalm, however, warned Friday that bad loans are rising amid the ongoing Dutch recession, which has now passed the one-year mark. He said small businesses are suffering the most. Consumers are spending less, but saving more — bad for businesses, but retail savings provide a cheap form of funding for ABN, helping interest margins.

Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem said Wednesday the Cabinet will soon release a plan for re-privatizing ABN.

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