Swedish Krona (SEK)

What Is the Swedish Krona (SEK)?

SEK is the currency code for the Swedish krona, the currency for Sweden. The Swedish krona is made up of 100 öre and is often presented with the symbol "kr."

The krona, which means crown in Swedish, has been Sweden's currency since 1873 and is also expressed by the symbol KR. It replaced the Swedish riksdaler.

As of Aug. 12, 2021, one SEK is worth roughly $0.12.

Key Takeaways

  • The Swedish krona is the official currency of Sweden.
  • The currency code for the krona is SEK, and the abbreviation is kr.
  • While Sweden is expected to adopt the euro at some point, there is little urgency as the Swedish population is not in favor of switching currencies.
  • The e-krona is a digital version of the krona, used via an app, and is expected to phase out the use of cash.
  • The Swedish krona replaced the riksdaler riksmynt at par in 1873, when the Scandinavian Monetary Union was formed.

Understanding the Swedish Krona (SEK)

The Swedish krona replaced the riksdaler riksmynt at par in 1873, when the Scandinavian Monetary Union was formed.

The Scandinavian Monetary Union was a fixed exchange rate system—based on the gold standard—between Sweden and Denmark. Norway joined the Union in 1875. While member countries still had their own currencies, the Union ensured exchange rate stability. This Monetary Union lasted until 1914.

Since 1992, the exchange rate has been allowed to float against other currencies, with the central bank intervening when necessary to stabilize the krona's value.

The most heavily traded currency pair involving the SEK is the EUR/SEK, or the euro versus the krona.

Sweden is expected to join the eurozone, and adopt the euro, as part of the accession treaty of 1995, although the majority of politicians and citizens are not in favor of adopting the euro. Therefore, there is no urgency to give up the krona, and as of 2021, there are no plans to switch over.

Despite Sweden's relatively small economy, its well-educated and tech-savvy workforce and the fact that it is home to many multinational corporations have led many Forex observers to classify SEK as a safe haven currency.

SEK and Negative Interest Rates

In July 2009, Sweden became the first country to experiment with negative interest rates when the Swedish Central Bank lowered the target interest rate to 0.25%. This resulted in the deposit rate falling to -0.2%

Initially, the SEK strengthened; pundits saw it as a positive that Sweden was taking a strong initiative to correct the economy amidst the Great Recession of 2007 to 2009. 

However, over the coming years, the Swedish economy floundered, and, in 2014, the Riksbank dropped the target rate to zero. At this time, the deposit rate fell an additional 25 basis points (to -0.50%). This resulted in a prolonged period of weakness in the krona—in the 12-months following the shift, the krona fell by more than 25% against the U.S. dollar.

From 2016 to 2018 the target rate was dropped to -0.5. In late 2018, the target rate was changed to -0.25.

Correlations of the SEK

The SEK is strongly correlated with its Scandinavian counterparts, the Danish krone (DKK) and the Norwegian krone (NOK). The following chart shows the SEK/USD, DKK/USD, and NOK/USD on one chart; they tend to move together, though at certain times one may be stronger than the others.

SKK, DKK, NOK charts versus USD

Swedish Krona Coins and Bills

Currently, there are one, two, five, and 10 kronor (plural) coins in circulation. In terms of bills, there are 20, 50, 100, 200, 500, and 1,000 kronor bills.

The E-krona is a digital currency controlled by the Riksbank. It is exchanged through the Swish app. The E-krona hasn't officially been adopted because cash is still in use in the country. However, in the future, it's possible that cash payments will be eliminated altogether.

Example of Exchange Rate Conversion Using the Swedish Krona

Assume that the SEK/USD exchange rate is 0.1250. That means it costs $0.1250 to buy one krona. To find how many kronor it takes to buy one U.S. dollar, divide one by the exchange rate: 1 / 0.1250 = 8. It takes eight kronor to buy one USD. This is the rate for the USD/SEK currency pair; notice how the currencies have flipped position.

If the SEK/USD rate moves up to 0.1425, the SEK has increased in value relative to the USD, and the USD has decreased in value relative to the krona. It now costs more USD to buy one krona.

If the rate falls to 0.10, the SEK has decreased in value relative to the USD. It now costs fewer USD to buy one SEK.

Swedish Currency FAQs

What Is the Swedish Currency?

The Swedish currency is the Swedish krona.

Which Countries Have Krona Currency?

Krona is the official currency of Sweden. Krona literally means "crown" in Swedish. Other countries also have currencies that are called "crown." In Norway, the currency unit is known as the krone. In the Czech Republic, the currency unit is called the koruna. In their respective languages, both of these words can be translated as "crown."

Does Sweden Still Use Krona?

The Swedish krona is the official currency of Sweden.

How to Redeem Old Swedish Krona Currency?

The Riksbank (the Central Bank of Sweden) offers an application process for the redemption of all invalid Swedish banknotes, regardless of their age.

Sek Currency Belongs to Which Country?

SEK is the currency code for the Swedish krona, the official currency for the country of Sweden.

Is Swedish Krona Pegged to Another Currency?

Since autumn 1992, the exchange rate for the Swedish krona has been floating.

In 1939, a few days before the start of WWII, Sweden pegged the krona to the U.S. dollar.

What Does Swedish Krona Look Like?

swedish krona
Article Sources
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  2. Cite de l'Economie et de la Monnaie. "1873: Scandinavian Monetary Union." Accessed Aug. 12, 2021.

  3. Sveriges Riksbank. "Ingves: Inflation target and floating exchange rate have worked well in Sweden." Accessed Aug. 12, 2021.

  4. FXCM. "SEK – Swedish Krona." Accessed Aug. 12, 2021.

  5. VoxEU: CEPR. "Don’t do it again! The Swedish experience with negative central bank rates in 2015-2019." Accessed Aug. 12, 2021.

  6. Sveriges Riksbank. "Valid Banknotes." Accessed Aug. 12, 2021.

  7. Sveriges Riksbank. "E-krona." Accessed Aug. 12, 2021.

  8. Encyclopedia Brittanica. "Crown: monetary unit." Accessed Aug. 14, 2021.

  9. Riksbank. "Redeeming invalid banknotes." Accessed Aug. 14, 2021.

  10. Riksbank. "Historical Timeline." Accessed August 14, 2021.

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