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Economy

Folksam Top Swedbank Owner

Published tisdag 10 mars 2009 kl 11.20
Folksam CEO Anders Sundström

Swedish insurance company Folksam has become the largest shareholder in Swedish Bank Swedbank after share prices plummeted over the last year.

On Friday Folksam reported that they would accept shares in lieu of payment for a 110 million US dollar loan given to the bank last autumn. This means they will increase their ownership to 14, 6 % of shares in the bank.

“It is a good long term investment for the Folksam Group”, the Folksam CEO Anders Sundstöm said to Swedish news agency TT.

The Swedish state will also own 3.3 % of the shares through the Swedish Export Credit Cooperation, which earlier lent Swedbank around 50 million dollars.  The government told Swedish news agency TT that there are no plans on selling the shares at the moment.

There is also bad news for individual shareholders. The Swedbank board has decided not to pay out 300 million dollars, originally set aside to pay shareholder dividends, in order to strengthen its capital.

Rodney Alfvén, chief analyst at Chevreux Nordic told TT that the decision to withdraw the promised dividend is a good one.

“In practice this means an addition of 300 million dollars. The bank needs that money, because we are heading towards a very long and cold winter” he said.

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