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Swedbank announced SKr15bn rights issue
  Hedgeweb - MON, AUG 17 2009
News The bank today announced a fully underwritten SKr15bn ($2bn) rights issue to shore up their balance sheet hit hard by economic turmoil in eastern Europe.

The fundraising came a month after the Swedish bank told investors it was strong enough to cope without raising fresh capital, in spite of a surge in bad loans from the Baltic region and Ukraine.

It is the bank??s second rights issue in less than a year after raising SKr12.4bn last December. Michael Wolf, chief executive, insisted that nothing had changed in the bank??s outlook since it gave an upbeat assessment of its capital position last month. But he said the rights issue would ?end any lingering perception that we will become a burden for the Swedish taxpayers?.

Swedbank said a group of existing shareholders had undertaken to subscribe for and underwrite 46.6 percent of the offering while BofA Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse had agreed to underwrite the remaining 53.4 percent.

The rights issue is subject to approval at an extraordinary general meeting planned for September 15, with about a third of shareholders committed to supporting the measure.

Swedbank last month reported worse-than-expected second quarter net losses of SKr2bn, with loan impairments soaring to SKr6.67bn from SKr423m a year earlier.

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