A preliminary estimate for H&M’s sales in June so far indicates a lift of 12 per cent. According to CEO and principle owner Karl-Johan Persson, the increase is a result of good conditions, such as the weather, and a popular clothing collection in-store.
Online sales increased by 20 per cent in local currency during the second quarter, ending in May. H&M is also growing more than the rest of the market in many countries, including China, the UK and the US, says Persson. He called it a “challenging” quarter in Sweden but growth was still 5 per cent
Furniture giant Ikea believes that solar energy is facing explosive development both globally and in Sweden. It has
now selected rapid growth company Svea Solar as its partner as it begins selling solar cells on the Swedish market
after the summer.
“The solar market is marginal in Sweden despite the conditions being just as good as in Germany, which is the
leading solar country. However, by 2030 solar could represent at least 10 per cent of Sweden’s energy mix,
compared to 0.3 per cent today,” says Jonas Carlehed, sustainability director at the Ikea group in Sweden.
However, the company believes politicians need to introduce more reforms to “capture the enormous boom”.
Once again Metro employees are not receiving a salary. The newspaper has been in financial crisis for several months and owner Christen Ager-Hanssen is now saying that he does not believe the newspaper should employee journalists. He believes it is better to buy content from content providers or freelance journalists.
“We are not a news agency. We can never compete in that area,” says Ager-Hanssen who believes it would be better to focus on lifestyle content.
One employee told the newspaper Aftonbladet: “There are many of us who cannot understand how this could happen again.” Christen Ager-Hanssen has told SvD that the salaries will be paid.
Last year almost 21,000 work permits and around 10,000 permit extensions for migrant workers from outside the EU were granted, which is the highest figure recorded so far.
The issue has been at the forefront of political debate in recent years and in the spring the Social Democrats presented a proposal to entirely stop migrant workers in professions in which there is no labour shortage. However, in the 73-point agreement negotiated with the Centre Party and Liberals the party has now given its support to current rules.
In a report commissioned by the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise (Svenskt näringsliv) and carried out by analytical company Damvad, it states that foreign labour led to a GDP increase of SEK 34 billion. Turnover in companies that employed foreign labour grew by SEK 64 billion.
Martin Ådahl (C), whose party supports liberal labour immigration, is not surprised: “It is a direct effect of resolving bottlenecks and creating jobs and the indirect effect of having a working system that means people want to come here.”
.Sweden’s exports have increased by SEK 334 billion, 32 per cent, over the past five years, according to Statistics Sweden and the Swedish Export Credit Agency (EKN). Small and medium-sized enterprises, up to 250 employees, have increased exports by 48 per cent over the past five years.
“Small companies are often extremely niche, which means that Sweden, as a market, is too small. The inner market that the EU constitutes and the EU’s free trade deals with a number of countries have huge significance for Swedish companies,” says Carl-Johan Karlsson, director of the SME business area at EKN. He also points out that large companies are dependent on small ones, as they become sub-contractors when they move abroad.
In the period the number of small companies that export has increased by 3,200 companies to 32,697.
Sweden’s government decided on Wednesday to sharpen its tools against money laundering.
One requirement is that the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (Finansinspektionen) strengthens cooperation with the European Central Bank and other supervisory authorities.
“This is a shortcoming that has emerged in the dealings that have come to light. Both in terms of Danske Bank and Swedbank, there has been too little information exchange between regulators,” said Deputy Finance Minister Per Bolund.
The government will also tighten the requirements for customer knowledge and has determined that a number of players, including art dealers and companies using virtual currencies, must work actively to counter money laundering. Simultaneously, the minister expects the banks to raise their game, not least in terms of high-risk third countries.
ensEU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström hopes to be able to close a free trade agreement with the Mercosur group of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay within the next few months. She believes an agreement could be struck during the term of the current European Commission, which runs until the end of October.
Meetings are to be held in June and July between officials and if all goes well, Malmström is prepared to initiate final negotiations with the four countries’ trade ministers at short notice.
In the past, Brazil has opposed the import of European cars and components but the main issue to be resolved now is that of agriculture. The EU wants to protect geographical indicators such as champagne and parmesan cheese and sell dairy products (mainly cheese), while Mercosur wants to sell more beef to the EU.
The commissioner tells Svenska Dagbladet that market openings in agriculture are likely to be discussed in the final negotiations.
Swedbank said on Monday evening that it had suspended and would replace its Estonian CEO Robert Kitt and CFO Vaiko Tammevali. Swedbank gave no specific reason for suspending and replacing the two, other than to say that the measure is a consequence of the ongoing internal investigation into money laundering allegations at the bank.
Swedbank, which has already removed its chief executive and chairman at board level, will hold an extraordinary general meeting on Wednesday, at which time former Social Democratic prime minister Göran Persson will be elected as the new chairman. The hunt for a new group chief executive continues.
The US-China trade war and Brexit pose a mounting risk to the Swedish economy, says Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson, who nevertheless sees no reason to save more than is required by the surplus target.
This year the government will hold budget talks with the Centre and Liberal parties and, pursuant to the terms of the January Agreement, a state tax of 5 per cent on income over SEK 61,000 per month will be scrapped – a reform that is calculated to cost the Treasury SEK 6 billion. The minister says she would have preferred the funds to have been invested in welfare, given that the government will have to contribute capital to ailing local authorities and regions in the coming years. This in turn will limit the scope for much-needed investment in the police, the armed forces and the infrastructure.
Brazil’s embassy has tried to convince food chain Paradiset to stop its boycott of Brazilian products. In a letter to Paradiset’s CEO Johannes Cullberg, the embassy in Stockholm claims there are other countries in the world using as much, or more, pesticides than Brazil. The embassy believes the country has been subject to an unfair media campaign and that “the news, in many cases, is based on opinions coloured by political agendas”.
The initiative to stop selling Brazilian products has become global news and Johannes Cullberg hopes it spreads. Of the 169 pesticides that Jair Bolsonaro’s government approved from 21 May, almost half are classified as “very dangerous” by the organisation Pesticide Action Network.
Swedish food chains Ica, Coop and Axfood have not introduced a boycott but are waiting for the EU to make a decision on a possible import stop
We are a small, but qualified team of graduates in politics, economics, English and classics dedicated to providing quality news digests in English that offer readers a first-hand look at the most important topics covered by the Swedish press. Here you will find a selection of the articles that are published in our Swedish Press Review.