Dutch lender Rabobank posts 13% profit rise

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Dutch lender Rabobank said Wednesday its first half net profit jumped 13 percent and it remained optimistic for the rest of the year should economic conditions not deteriorate.

Net profit stood at 1.85 billion euros ($2.67 billion), up from 1.64 billion euros in first half 2010, while overall revenue rose 13.5 percent to 7.3 billion euros.

"Rabobank is optimistic about the level of its profits for the full year 2011, assuming no further worsening of current economic conditions," it said in a statement.

Loans to the private sector rose by 1.0 percent to 441 billion euros, while assets under management remained steady at 269 billion euros in the first half.

Rabobank said it ensured that its exposure to struggling eurozone nations Spain and Italy -- plus bailed out Greece, Ireland and Portugal -- was limited at 690 million euros.

Greece accounted for 104 million euros, it said.

A new Greek rescue plan, agreed at an emergency eurozone summit in Brussels on July 21, provides comprehensive support of nearly 160 billion euros to Athens and includes a limited contribution from the private sector.

"At Rabobank, we too will be making our contribution which, given our limited exposure in Greece, is actually relatively limited," it said.

The Dutch banking group has around 10 million customers in 48 countries and employs 59,400 people.

© 2011 AFP

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