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July 21, 2009

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Swedish bank takes hit in Q2 on losses

SWEDISH bank SEB AB yesterday posted a second-quarter loss as credit losses for its operations in the Baltic rose more than eightfold.

The bank said net loss for the quarter was 193 million kronor (US$24.7 million) versus a profit of 2.8 billion kronor in the same period a year earlier. The result was well below analysts' hopes of a 1.4 billion kronor profit.

SEB, which is the core holding of Sweden's powerful Wallenberg family, said total credit losses rose to 3.6 billion kronor from 448 million kronor - 74 percent of which was attributable to its operations in the Baltic countries.

It also said the result was weighed down by a 2.4 billion kronor writedown on goodwill in the Baltic and Russia.

Net interest income rose to 5.4 billion kronor from 4.4 billion kronor in the second quarter 2008.

"The coming quarters are challenging, not just for SEB but also for the markets and economies where we are operating," CEO Annika Falkengren said.


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