March 18, 2020 / 8:26 AM / 11 days ago

UPDATE 1-SEB confident of having funds to help Swedish companies

(Adds details, background)

STOCKHOLM, March 18 (Reuters) - Swedish bank SEB said on Wednesday it has ample capital and liquidity to help its customers through the coronavirus crisis without needing to draw on emergency credit lines from Sweden’s central bank.

“We have ... all the ammunition we need to support the real economy and we have every intention to do so”,” SEB Chief Financial Officer Masih Yazdi told analysts and investors on a conference call.

On Monday, the Swedish central bank undertook further emergency economic measures, offering more cheap loans to banks on easier terms and to buy up to 300 billion Swedish crowns ($30 billion) in securities during the year.

Last week the Riksbank said it would lend up to 500 billion crowns to Swedish companies via banks to shore up credit flows as the coronavirus epidemic wreaked havoc on financial markets.

SEB welcomed the measures but said it currently had no need for them and still had access to cheaper capital.

“The conditions on the Riksbank’s facility aren’t that attractive at this point in time,” Yazdi said, “But it’s a very good insurance, obviously,” he said.

Yazdi said the bank had capital buffers of around 30 billion Swedish crowns ($3.02 billion), not counting last year’s profit.

“Our capital buffer plus last year’s annual net profit is almost 50 billion Swedish crowns,” he said. ($1 = 9.9470 Swedish crowns) (Reporting by Johan Ahlander and Colm Fulton; Editing by Johannes Hellstrom and Alexander Smith)

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