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TORONTO, March 31 (Reuters) - Toronto Dominion Bank, Canada's second biggest bank, said on Thursday that it expected losses from bad loans in the oil & gas sector to be manageable given its relatively small exposure to the energy sector.
TD has set aside a comparatively low amount to cover loans that have turned sour. Gross impaired loans in the oil & gas sector fell to C$86 million in the first quarter, from C$93 million in the fourth quarter. Other Canadian banks, such as Bank Nova Scotia, have warned of much higher losses.
"We remain confident that any losses in our oil and gas portfolio will be manageable given the small size of this exposure relative to our overall balance sheet," Chief Executive Bharat Masrani told shareholders at the bank's annual meeting.
Masrani said that Canada's core economic challenge stemmed largely from a collapse in global commodity prices.
"It's causing a lot of pain in many parts of the country - but we have been through tough times like this before - and together we will get through them again," he said.
He added that Canada's banking system is sound and its banks strong and said they would be willing and able to support activities that can stimulate the economy and boost productivity. (Reporting by Matt Scuffham; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)