Swedish lenders face 16-bln-euro losses

STOCKHOLM: Swedish banks will lose 16 billion euros (22.5 billion dollars) this year and next because of the credit crisis, the country's central bank estimated on Tuesday.

The losses, worth 170 billion kronor, will arise mainly from activities in the Baltic countries and eastern Europe, the Riksbank said.

But it added that big Swedish banks such as Nordea, Handelsbanken, SEB and Swedbank were well-placed to weather the losses.

"The credit losses will increase in the years to come," the bank's governor Stefan Ingves said in a statement.

"Nevertheless, the banks have sufficient capital to deal with losses of this size and are well capitalised compared to their international competitors."

SEB suffered losses of 2.4 billion kronor in the first quarter and Swedbank lost 6.8 billion kronor, of which 4.2 billion in Baltic countries and 1.4 billion in Ukraine.