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Latvian Unibanka is the cheapest asset for Sweden

  • 1998-12-03
In line with expert forecasts, it has turned out that Sweden's Skandinavska Enskilda Banken has bought its stake in Latvia's Unibanka considerably cheaper than stakes in Estonia's Uhispank or Lithuania's Vilnius Bank.

For a 32 percent stake in Uhispank' the Swedes paid $62 million. An equal size stake in Vilnius Bank cost slightly less at $55 million.

A larger stake in Unibanka - 36 percent - cost considerably less, just 36 million U.S. dollars.

This works out to Unibanka shares being worth one and a half to two times less than those in Uhispank or Vilnius Bank. This is a stinging confirmation of the greater impact of the Russian crisis on Latvian banks than on Estonian or Lithuanian banks. If SEB had decided to make their investment into Baltic banks before the Russian crisis was triggered on August 17 then the situation could easily have been reversed, with Unibanka fetching the top price.