The B share

Handelsbanken's B share

A shares dominate

The A share is completely dominant. It accounts for roughly 98 percent of all Handelsbanken shares. This applies to both the number of shares and the turnover on the stock exchange.


The Swedish banking market was gradually deregulated from the mid-1980s. Even in the early 1990s, there were reservations for foreign investors' ownership in Swedish banks.

At the 1990 annual general meeting, it was decided to amend Handelsbanken's articles of association, so that foreign investors were allowed to acquire shares corresponding to less than 40 % of the share capital and less than 20 % of the votes.

At the same general meeting, it was decided on a bonus issue 1:10 of a new series of ordinary shares: Handelsbanken B free, where "free" meant that the share could also be owned by foreign citizens.

Since 1 January, 1993, there are no longer any restrictions against foreign ownership and all shares are thus "free".

Two share classes

Handelsbanken shares are therefore available in two different share classes: series A and series B.

Both shares have the same right to dividends, but shares of series B have only one-tenth of the vote per share, while each share of series A has one vote per share.