Magazine article American Banker

SE Banken Plans Convertible Debt Issue

Magazine article American Banker

SE Banken Plans Convertible Debt Issue

Article excerpt

Sweden's Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken plans to raise $200 million in the United States through an unusual debt issue.

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, SE Banken said it plans an issue of perpetual subordinated debt that can later be exchanged for preferred stock.

SE Banken adopted the unconventional structure because Swedish law prohibits companies from raising equity in foreign currencies.

However, Swedish companies are pushing to ease the law, and the preferred-stock element of SE Banken's proposed offering anticipates such a change.

Stock Investors Targeted

The Securities will be marketed to preferred-stock investors and will be priced with the expectation that they will eventually be exchanged for preferred.

The bank hopes to take advantage of current strong demand for preferred stock in the United States rather than waiting for Swedish law on foreign-denominated equity to change, a source said.

"The bank wanted to take the opportunity to issue when the U.S. market is positive to this type of issue," the source said.

SE Banken also has about half of its assets in foreign currencies, including a substantial portion that is dollar-denominated.

It wants to raise capital to better match its foreign-denominated assets, the source said.

Foreign banks have raised more than $1 billion in Tier 1 and Tier 2 capital through preferred stock and subordinated debt sales in the United States this year. …

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