Commerzbank sees profits increase

Image caption, Commerzbank is the latest European lender to report rising profits

Commerzbank has reported a net profit of 352m euros ($460m; £291m) for the second quarter of 2010, as the European banking sector continues to recover.

The German lender's latest profit was higher than expected, and compares with a loss of 761m euros a year earlier.

Commerzbank said it now hoped to return to full-year profit in 2010 and not 2011 as it had previously expected.

The German government has held a 25% stake in Commerzbank since January 2009.

The lender needed financial aid following the crisis in the global credit markets.

Bad debts fall

Commerzbank said it was benefiting from a "stable market environment".

It added that it had also been able to reduce the amount of money needed to cover bad debts to 639m euros, compared with 993m euros a year earlier.

The bank's profits were further lifted by a one-off tax gain.

Commerzbank is the latest European bank to report rising profits this week, following the UK's HSBC and Lloyds Banking Group, and France's Societe Generale and BNP Paribas.

Another UK lender, Barclays, also reported higher profits on Thursday, up to £3.95bn for the first half of 2010, from £2.75bn a year earlier.

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