Sweden's big banks report billions in profits
The Swedish banks Handelsbanken and SEB both reported profits in the billions of kronor when they published their 2013 fourth-quarter profits on Wednesday. All four of Sweden's major banks have now reported major profits for 2013. They total more than SEK 90 billion, according to Swedish Radio News.
For the fourth quarter, Handelsbanken made profits of about SEK 4.5 billion, which was slightly more than expected, according to a survey of analysts, conducted by Reuters news agency. For the entire year, the bank made more than SEK 18 billion in profits, more than it has ever made in any previous year. The board has suggested raising dividends dramatically, from SEK 11 to SEK 16.50 per share, according to news agency TT.
Meanwhile, SEB made a profit of SEK 5 billion for the fourth quarter, which was about SEK 300 million more than expected. SEB is also considering raising dividends, from SEK 2.75 to SEK 4.