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Feb 2 (Reuters) - Finnish financial group Sampo should sell its 4.3 billion euro ($5.2 billion) holding in lender Nordea this year and focus on its insurance operations, Elliott Advisors said on Tuesday.
The activist investor said this would restore investor confidence and unlock in excess of 8 billion euros in value for Sampo’s shareholders.
“The company’s Nordea stake is widely acknowledged to have become a significant distraction and a sustained drag on valuation for Sampo,” Elliott said in a statement.
Sampo is the largest shareholder of Nordea, holding a 15.9% stake.
Elliott Advisors - an affiliate of Elliott Investment Management which manages $41 billion of assets - says it advises funds that hold more than 3% of Sampo shares.
Sampo is due to report its fourth quarter results on Feb. 11, and holds a Capital Markets Day on Feb. 24.
$1 = 0.8288 euros Reporting by Tarmo Virki in Tallinn. Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Mark Potter