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Handelsbanken Exits NYC Trading, Sells U.S. Assets

Sweden's Handelsbanken said on Monday it had decided to close down its proprietary trading in foreign exchange and fixed income in New York and sold off a large part of its exposure to U.S. asset-backed securities.

"As a consequence of the change, the bank has divested a significant part of its exposure to U.S. asset-backed securities. The sale comprises the bank's entire exposure to asset-backed securities (AAA) secured by credit card receivables (SEK 11bn year-end 2007)," it said in a statement. "The total profit & loss account effect of the divested portfolio in the period is thus -767 million and the amount booked directly against the Bank's equity SEK 97m."

The bank added that the combined impact on the liquidity portfolio from changes in market values as of March 28 totalled a negative 946 million Swedish crowns ($159 million) in the profit and loss account.