SEB's announcement will no doubt increase interest in the shares of all three banks, as well as in Hermis Bank, which is in merger talks with Vilniaus Bankas. In addition to SEB's banks, Hansapank's share price also has a good chance of climbing. Last week the bank's affiliated brokerage company forecast Hansapank's share price would almost double to 125 kroons. Sweden's Swedbank owns nearly half of Hansapank.
There has also been a feverish speculative interest in shares in Estonia's Optiva Bank. The Bank of Estonia was finally forced to admit that it was indeed holding talks with several potential buyers for the stake the central bank previously took in Optiva to keep it from sinking into bankruptcy.