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Swedish banks on Moody´s watch list

Moody's Investors service, the credit ratings agency, has placed 114 financial institutions in 16 European countries on a watch list for possible downgrades to their long-term credit ratings.

Moody’s says the action reflects combined pressures from (i) the adverse and prolonged impact of the euro area crisis, which makes the operating environment very difficult for European banks, (ii) the deteriorating creditworthiness of euro area sovereign states, which led to the adjustment of the ratings for nine European countries and (iii) longer-term, the substantial challenges faced by banks and securities firms with significant capital market activities.

All four systemically important Swedish banks are on the list with reference to the first of the three reasons above.

The short-term ratings were affirmed for SEB, Handelsbanken and Nordea.

“The effect of Moody’s action today is hard to assess, but Swedish banks continue to enjoy very high confidence internationally due to strong capital positions, good asset qualities and proven funding capacities,” SEB’s Chief Financial Officer Jan Erik Back says.