BUSINESS

Moody's downgrades long-term debt rating of 3 Swedish bank groups

05/25/2012 04:42 EDT | Updated 07/24/2012 05:12 EDT
STOCKHOLM - The ratings agency Moody's has downgraded three Swedish banks due to their exposure to the increasingly troubled European economy and diminished profitability in the competitive financial sector.

Moody's Investors Service says it downgraded Nordea Bank AB and Svenska Handelsbanken AB by one notch, while agricultural lender Landshypotek AB saw its rating fall two notches due to its narrow business segment and reliance on the open market for capital.

Moody's said Friday that it left the ratings for SEB and Swedbank unchanged.

It said the outlook for all five banks is now stable. It says Sweden's relatively strong economy and favourable working environment for financial institutions will help buffer the banks against further volatility in the European Union.