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Sweden's SBB shares jump after new CEO rules out asset fire sale

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Shares in Swedish real estate company SBB soared as much as 26% on Monday after incoming CEO Leiv Synnes said there would not be a fire sale of the company's assets.

Hit by soaring interest rates that forced the company to cancel its dividend and scrap a share issue, SBB said last week it was broadening a strategic review to consider a sale of all or parts of the company.

Synnes told Bloomberg News on Monday the company would not sell any assets at a discount. He ruled out a new share issue in an interview with Swedish newspaper Dagens Industri and told Svenska Dagbladet that a tie-up with another local player, including his former employer Akelius, remained possible.

The company's shares, which surged 50% on Friday after SBB axed its founder and CEO Ilija Batljan, were last up 10% at 1345 GMT in extremely choppy trading on Monday. The stock has lost 69% of its value this year, through last close.

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Traders also pointed to a squeeze on short positions. SBB is the most shorted stock in Sweden, according to data from the country's financial regulator.

Carlsquare analyst Bertil Nilsson said Synnes' comments on asset sales contributed to the share rally, as well him having proved himself to be "skillful" at Akelius.

"I would be on my toes if I were a short seller at current levels," Nilsson said, adding he had no specific insights into what positions were being traded on a daily basis.

The analyst also added that short sellers had most likely contributed to volatility being much higher than normal.

($1 = 10.9033 Swedish crowns)

(Reporting by Marie Mannes, additional reporting by Izabela Niemiec and Elviira Luoma; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Sriraj Kalluvila)