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STOCKHOLM, Feb 8 (Reuters) - Sweden's Handelsbanken reported fourth-quarter operating profit below expectations on Wednesday and proposed a lower-than-expected annual dividend as rising loan losses weighed on the result.
Operating profit in the quarter fell to 4.70 billion Swedish crowns ($529 million) from a year-ago 5.53 billion, lagging a mean forecast for 4.99 billion seen in a Reuters poll of analysts.
The bank proposed a dividend of 5.00 crowns per share, lower than the expected dividend of 5.61 per share. ($1 = 8.8783 Swedish crowns) (Reporting by Johan Ahlander, editing by Johannes Hellstrom)