Swedish banking group Handelsbanken said on Thursday it had taken over some units of bankrupt auto component maker Plastal from receivers.

In March, Handelsbanken said its exposure to Plastal amounted to 2.1 billion Swedish crowns ($277 million), but most of that was secured by pledges of assets in Sweden and abroad.

Handelsbanken said the Belgian, Norwegian and Swedish units that have been taken over represent around 10 percent of previous Plastal Group.

These units form a viable corporate group that today has a positive cash flow, Michael Green, Head of Regional Bank Western Sweden, said in a statement.

Handelsbanken ... considers this to be a good way to nurture and protect our collateral in the company.

Swedish banks have seen rising losses from souring loans in recent quarters and with Europe in the grip of recession, things are unlikely to improve soon.

Plastal has been hard hit by plunging demand in the automotive sector and by strains in credit markets.

The components maker had sales of about 1.3 billion euros ($1.83 billion) last year. (Editing by Mariam Karouny)