RIGA - Swedish bank Swedbank has said it will discontinue operations in Russia and sell its Ukrainian subsidiary, leaving it to focus on its home markets. “This is the final step in our strategy to concentrate Swedbank’s business activities (on) Sweden and the three Baltic countries,” Chief Executive Michael Wolf said in a statement.
Swedbank plans to exit Ukraine before the middle of the year under a share purchase agreement signed with Mykola Lagun, the majority owner of local lender Delta Bank. Swedbank announced plans to close its retail operations there in 2011.
As a result of the transaction, Swedbank will report impairments of approximately 40.7 million euros in its first quarter earnings.
Several banks from Western Europe have left or reduced their exposure to Ukraine. Both Swedish rival SEB and Germany’s Commerzbank sold their Ukrainian subsidiaries last year. Swedbank also said it would cease all new business in Russia and wind down existing operations. Its net lending there is approximately SEK 2.6 billion.