Swedbank gets half of Hansapank shares

  • 1998-10-08
  • By Kairi Kurm
TALLINN - Swedbank, the third largest bank in Sweden, announced it will buy Hansapank shares currently held by Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken (SEB), a move that will increase Swedbank's stake in the Estonian institution to 49 percent.

Swedbank currently owns about one-third of Hansapank's shares, and the SEB has a 19 percent stake in the largest Baltic bank. The SEB has been competing with Swedbank in increasing its stake in Hansapank but hankered after quick money.

The SEB told The Financial Times that it would get about 200 million Swedish kroons ($ 24 million) after it sells off its stake to Swedbank.

Swedbank's share in Hansapank may jump over 50 percent as a result of a planned rights issue of Hansapank shares. Swedbank said it would guarantee the issue of 14 million shares at a price of 100 kroons ($7) a piece. Hansapank's shareholders may buy one share for every four they own, but if they fail to subscribe the Swedish bank will automatically assume all shares at this price.

The Bank of Estonia has already approved Swedbank's increase of its Hansapank's share to 49 percent, but it will have to turn to the central bank for further permission if it plans to raise its stake above 50 percent.