UPDATE 1-Finnish insurer Sampo's Q3 pretax profit a miss despite surge

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HELSINKI, Nov 4 (Reuters) - Finnish financial group Sampo reported a 425% rise in third-quarter pretax profit on Wednesday but missed analysts’ expectations despite citing excellent results at its property and casualty subsidiary If and improved market values of its investment assets.

Shares in the company fell as much as 3% at market opening in Helsinki.

The pan-Nordic insurer, which owns 19.9% of Nordea Bank and has reportedly signalled interest in selling it, posted a pretax profit of 485 million euros ($564 million) compared with the 502 million forecast by analysts, Refinitiv Eikon data showed.

“The markets continued to be backed by policymakers and central banks, and the good liquidity together with the strong risk appetite led asset prices to recover towards the pre-COVID-19 levels,” Sampo’s Chief Executive Torbjorn Magnusson said in a statement.

At the end of October, Sampo said it had acquired all necessary approvals for its planned acquisition of British motor insurer Hastings.

$1 = 0.8596 euros Reporting by Anne Kauranen, editing by Louise Heavens