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Sweden sells 6.4-percent stake in Nordea

Sweden's centre-right government said on Wednesday it had sold 6.4 percent of Nordea, the largest Nordic bank, for 19.5 billion kronor ($3.05 billion).

Sweden sells 6.4-percent stake in Nordea

The sale reduces the state’s holding to 7.0 percent and will help to reduce national debt which is relatively low by European Union standards.

The stake was sold at an auction held for Swedish and international institutional investors, for 75 kronor per share.

That was 4.8 percent less than the price at which the share was trading when the finance ministry announced the sale on Tuesday after the stock market closed.

“The state’s role is to regulate the banks, not to own them. Banking shares are risky assets,” Minister for Financial Markets Peter Norman said in a statement.

The proceeds from the sale will go towards reducing Sweden’s public debt, he said. The debt currently amounts to 1.2 trillion kronor, or about 39 percent of gross domestic product.

The government had initially announced on Tuesday that it would sell up to 5.7 percent of Nordea, but increased the level to 6.4 percent “due to strong demand from investors.”

Sweden is a member of the European Union but not of the eurozone.

AFP/The Local/og

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BANK

Police to investigate Nordea bank over money laundering

Danish police will investigate the Swedish bank Nordea after a year-long probe by regulators into money laundering led to "criticism" of its procedures, the bank said Friday.

Police to investigate Nordea bank over money laundering
Photo: Marcus Ericsson / TT

Detectives will examine how money laundering rules were followed at the bank's Danish subsidiary and could result in “sanctions”, Nordea said in a statement.

“We realize that we initially underestimated the complexity and the time it takes to change our procedures,” said Nordea chief executive Casper von Koskull.

The bank added that 850 Nordea employees are currently involved in the fight against money laundering which the bank plans to increase to 1,150 by the end of the year.

In May 2015 the bank was fined 50 million kronor (€5.4 million euros) – the maximum possible – by Swedish regulators who accused Nordea of “not following money laundering rules for several years” and failing to “evaluate the risks of (doing business with) certain clients”.