SBAB has several potential bidders

Several Swedish and foreign banks have expressed their interest in buying Sweden's state mortgage lender SBAB, which is due to be privatised in the coming months, Dagens Industri reported.

Danske Bank AS is the most likely candidate to take over SBAB, Dagens Industri wrote. Danske’s president Peter Straarup said recently that the bank “with all probability will bid for SBAB”, and Danske may have good reasons to buy the state lender as it has attractive products to offer SBAB’s existing customers, the newspaper added.

Dutch finance major ING Group may be another likely bidder, according to Dagens Industri. The group said last autumn that Scandinavia is one of the regions it is considering entering, and SBAB may be a logical platform since the two groups have similar low cost profiles, Dagens Industri wrote.

The paper added that Icelandic banks, such as Kaupthing could also be interested in taking over SBAB.

Among Swedish banks, Handelsbanken and Swedbank AB have both hinted they are interested in bidding for SBAB.

However, Rodney Alfven at Chevreux told Dagens Industri that anti-trust regulators may not approve of such a deal, since both banks already hold 27 percent each of the Swedish mortgage loan market and may become too dominating if SBAB’s 10 percent market share is included.

He added that Nordea AB and SEB, which have also expressed their interest in SBAB, may face similar problems if they are to merge as expected, thereby gaining a combined market share of 30 percent, Dagens Industri wrote.