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LONDON, April 30 (Reuters) - Nordea Bank AB will raise dividends over the next two years but will not set a formal target for its payout until regulators resolve uncertainties about what its capital base should be, its chief executive said.
“We don’t really know what the final capital requirements are. Before we know that, it’s dangerous to talk about a very exact dividend number,” CEO Christian Clausen said at the Reuters Financial Regulation Summit on Wednesday.
“The idea is that we will raise dividends this year and next year - that we say because we believe it is a safe statement.”
The Swedish bank paid out 56 percent of its earnings in dividends last year. In early April, Chairman Bjoern Wahlroos said Nordea would probably match the 75 percent payout ratio of rival Swedbank over the long term.
Asked if he agreed with Wahlroos’s comments, Clausen said “Yes I do.”
Nordea already has a core tier one ratio of 14.9 percent, one of the highest rates of any bank in the European Union, and has warned it could end up with excessively high capital levels if it does not increase dividends. Follow Reuters Summits on Twitter @Reuters_Summits (Reporting By Laura Noonan; editing by Jane Baird)