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Sampo May Consider Selling Nordea Stake Within Two Years: DI

(Bloomberg) —



a sign on the side of a building: The Nordea Bank Abp logo stands on top of a building in Helsinki, Finland, on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020. Finnish household debt has doubled in the past two decades against a backdrop of falling interest rates and the gradual obsolescence of cash as a form of payment.


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The Nordea Bank Abp logo stands on top of a building in Helsinki, Finland, on Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020. Finnish household debt has doubled in the past two decades against a backdrop of falling interest rates and the gradual obsolescence of cash as a form of payment.

Nordea Bank Abp’s largest shareholder, Finnish investment company Sampo Oyj, may consider selling its stake in the bank in the coming years, Swedish daily Dagens Industri reported.

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Sampo is testing the water ahead of a potential sale, which could happen within the next two years, according to the report, which cited anonymous sources.

Sampo, which also owns the Sweden-based insurance company If, as well as almost half of Danish insurer Topdanmark A/S, holds 19.9% of Nordea’s outstanding shares. That makes it by far the largest shareholder in the bank, ahead of activist investor Cevian Capital, which has built a 4.4% stake since making its first purchases late 2018.

Since Torbjorn Magnusson took over as chief executive officer in January, Sampo has been led by executives with a background in the insurance industry, and a Nordea divestment could be attractive as a way to further increase its focus on that industry. Sampo agreed to buy a majority stake in the U.K. non-life insurer Hastings Group Holdings Plc in August, and said the deal was “a step in the strategy to allocate more capital to property and casualty insurance.”

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