Sweden to sell 5.7% stake in Nordea

Sweden's centre-right government on Tuesday said it would sell up to 5.7 percent of Nordea, the largest Nordic bank, reducing its holding to 7.8 percent.

The sale of 230 million shares, worth 18.1 billion kronor (2.1 billion euros, $2.8 billion) at Tuesday's market close in Stockholm, will take place on Wednesday.

"The state's role is to regulate the banks, not to own them. Banking shares are risky assets," Minister for Financial Markets Peter Norman said in a statement.

"The focus of the government is therefore to reduce the state holding in Nordea," he added.

The proceeds from the sale would go toward reducing Sweden's public debt, he said.