Estonia overdue loan rate soars to 8.1 pct in Nov

TALLINN Tue Dec 23, 2008 6:14am EST

TALLINN Dec 23 (Reuters) - The level of overdue loans and interest payments in Estonia's banking system rose to 8.1 percent of the total loan portfolio in November from 6.5 percent in October, the Estonian central bank said on Tuesday.

It said outstanding loans plus owed interest increased to 21.34 billion Estonian kroons ($1.92 billion) from 16.81 billion kroons in October.

Estonia's banking system is 95 percent controlled by four Nordic financial groups, with Sweden's Swedbank (SWEDa.ST) and SEB (SEBa.ST) dominant.

The total loan portfolio rose to 262.56 billion kroons in November from 260.47 billion in October.

Loans overdue for more than 60 days with interest increased to 6.05 billion kroons from 5.35 billion, while overdue housing loans rose to 6.876 billion from 5.978 billion.

(Reporting by David Mardiste; editing by John Stonestreet)

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