UPDATE 2-Swedish government to sell remaining Nordea shares
* Closing price values Nordea stake at 22.5 bln SEK
* Sale gives govt fiscal leeway ahead of elections
(Adds comment by analyst, government quote, further details)
STOCKHOLM, Sept 24 (Reuters) - Sweden is to sell its remaining 7 percent stake in Nordea, the Nordic region's biggest bank, its second sale of Nordea shares this year and giving the centre-right ruling coalition some fiscal room for manoeuvre ahead of next year's general election.
The government, Nordea's second-biggest owner behind Finnish insurer Sampo, said it would sell up to 284 million ordinary shares in Nordea and will use the proceeds to reduce the national debt.
The remaining stake is worth some 22.5 billion Swedish crowns ($3.51 billion) at current market prices and its sale sale effectively closes an era, the government having owned a stake in the bank since the country's local banking crisis in the early 1990s.
"The role of the state is to regulate banks, not to own them," Minister of Financial Markets Peter Norman said in a statement.
"Bank shares are assets associated with risk and banks require strict regulation and extensive supervision. The approach of the government is therefore to sell the state's remaining holding in Nordea," Norman added.
The government said the sale was targeted at Swedish and international institutional investors through an accelerated bookbuilding which will be launched immediately, with pricing and allocation on Wednesday.
It would be the third sale of government shares in Nordea in around two years.
Faced with elections in 2014 and backed by a relatively strong Swedish economy, the country's centre-right coalition government has already been loosening its purse strings with planned income tax cuts in its 2014 budget.
"This strengthens state finances a bit and opens up for the government to conduct a slightly more expansionary fiscal policy - especially in the light of criticism against them for planning unfinanced reforms," said Stefan Mellin, an economist at Danske markets.
Sweden's coalition government, which is trailing the centre-left opposition badly in opinion polls, had sped up privatisation during its first term, but was slowed by the 2008/2009 financial crisis as asset prices took a hit.
Sweden's national debt is around 32 percent of GDP, one of the lowest in Europe.
In June Sweden sold nearly half its remaining stake in Nordea, raising $3 billion. The government sold 260 million Nordea shares, raised from an original goal of 230 million, citing strong investor demand.
Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt's government abandoned plans in its second term to sell down its stake in telecoms operator TeliaSonera when it faced political opposition in a minority government. ($1 = 6.4053 Swedish crowns)
(Writing by Alistair Scrutton; Editing by Greg Mahlich)