Swedish government halves holding in Nordea

The Swedish government has sold 260 million shares in Nordea through an auction process, taking its holding in the universal bank to 7% from 13.4%.

The sale was executed at a price of SEK75 per share, raising some SEK19.5bn for the government.

Financial Markets minister Peter Norman (pictured) said the money would be used to reduce the national debt.

The number of shares represented some 48% of the previous holding in the bank, and the government has promised not to sell any further tranche for at least 90 days post the latest sale. The total number sold was increased from 230 million to 260 million following strong demand from investors.

Financial Markets minister Peter Norman said the sale was necessitated by a policy commitment to reduce the ownership of the state in the country’s banking system.

“The role of the state is to regulate banks, not to own them,” he said in a press conference.

“Bank stocks are a risky asset, and banks require strict regulatory regimes and broad oversight,” he added.

Click here for the press conference video: http://www.regeringen.se/sb/d/17571/a/219680


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