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Santander Second-Quarter Profit Rises 54%

Spain's Santander Central Hispano bank on Thursday reported a 54% rise in second-quarter net profit on strong lending activity in Europe and Latin America and with an extra boost from an asset sale.

Spain's largest bank by market value said net profit rose to 2.66 billion euros ($3.66 billion) for the quarter, up from 1.72 billion euros in the same period last year.

The profit figure included 566 million euros ($777.85 million) in capital gains from the sale of a stake in Italy's Intesa Sanpaolo.

Santander's net interest income rose almost 26% to 3.91 billion euros ($5.37 billion).

Santander's shares were up 0.7% at 14.00 euros ($19.24). The stock, which has been trading flat since the beginning of the year, is subject to developments in the bidding battle for ABN Amro Holding.

The bank is part of a consortium led by the Royal Bank of Scotland Group that has launched a 72.4 billion euros ($99.5 billion) offer for ABN.

The bidders want to split ABN between them and are vying for control of the Dutch lender with Barclays.