The Nordic countries should harmonise their tax rules so that the region can become more attractive for investment in start-up and growth companies, proposed Idar Kreutzer, MD of Finance Norway, in a report presented to the Nordic Council of Ministers on Tuesday.
Another proposal in the report is to establish a Nordic model for a fund of funds structure, which could be applied in all five countries. This would give major institutions greater opportunity to invest in newly-established venture capital projects via a fund of funds.
Shares in the Saab defence group have plummeted 20 per cent in the past week, after the company announced that it plans to raise SEK 6 billion in a new rights issue and posted a loss for the third quarter. At the same time, the group is to axe jobs and review its range of products. Talking to Dagens Iindustri, CEO Håkan Buskhe says: “We have 580 products, we are now looking at each product area”.
Asked by the newspaper if the company is looking at UMS Skeldar, a joint venture with Switzerland’s UMS to build UAVs, which made a loss of SEK 92 million in 2017, the CEO replies: “it could be an example, but we have seen it more as a development project”.
While defending the investment, Mr Buskhe also says: “It could be the case that one sells the technology, divests it, or … finds other partners. I believe it is a highly mature product. We have received orders from the German Navy, among others, as well as a number of other orders which show we have a highly mature product. So we are in a new phase in terms of Skeldar as well”.
Emissions of greenhouse gases from the Swedish economy increased by one per cent during the second quarter of 2018 compared to the same period last year, according to Statistics Sweden.
The increase is mainly attributable to the manufacturing industry where emissions during the period increased by 5.6 per cent compared to 2017. At the same time emissions from power, gas and heating stations fell by 4.7 per cent compared to last year.
Total emissions within Sweden’s borders during the second quarter were 15.5 million tonnes carbon dioxide equivalents.
Financial professor, Arnoud Boot, who is currently visiting Sweden to discuss fintech, is a well-known voice in the economic debate in the Netherlands and has been critical of the financial sector.
“There has been a kind of financialisation of society in recent decades. But has the explosion of mortgages benefited people?(...) Banks have made huge profits but not by offering unbeatable service,” he says.
In Sweden the fintech industry is on the advance, led by payment companies such as Klarna, Trustly and iZettle. Boot believes the Swedish banks are also at the forefront. However he says pressure will increase and margins are likely to fall in the future. On Wednesday Handelsbanken announced it is to reduce its workforce by 1,600. Boot says that this is nothing compared to what will be required. “Sweden has four large banks which together have a market share of almost 80 per cent. It will will not look like this in the future,” he comments.
Losses, a new share issue and 850 redundancies meant Saab’s shares fell 15 per cent on the Stockholm stock market. This is usually a signal that something is wrong but in this case, much seems to be going right for Saab, according to analysts.
“Saab is going very well, despite both the reaction of the share and the loss figures,” says Joakim Bornold, economist from Nordnet.
On Monday Saab reported a loss before tax of SEK 103 million for the third quarter of 2018. This can be compared to a profit of SEK 333 million in the same period last year.
CEO Håkan Buskhe said at a press conference, “You create inefficiencies when you grow as quickly as we have done in recent years,” adding, “We see enormous potential and opportunities even in the future, continuing to carry out major deals and compete for large orders.”
According to a fresh report, almost half of Swedish listed companies are negatively affected by US trade barriers
“It is now clear that Swedish growth is damaged by the trade barriers the US has brought in,” says Mikael Juhler, CEO of PMP Marknadskonsult, which carried out the survey.
The biggest threat, according to the companies, is more expensive exports of goods.
The Stockholm region is Sweden’s growth engine. In order to increase the competitive edge of the whole country, the new political leadership must understand this and protect the growth potential of the large city areas, writes CEO of Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, Andreas Hatzigeorgiou in Dagens Industri (DI) today. Bold reform is needed.
He writes that reform must not be limited to only the most acute problem but must be focused on five attributes that characterise success in the modern economy: movement, mobility, accessibility, attractiveness and safety.
Global competition is tough and that is why bold reform is needed to boost the capital region as Sweden’s employment engine.
The government has given Henrik Attorps the go-ahead to prosecute Alex Schneiter, the CEO of Lundin Petroleum, and Ian Lundin, the company’s board chairman, for gross human rights violations in Sudan.
The prosecutor has had to seek the permission of the government since the crimes were committed overseas and since Alex Schneiter is a Swiss national.
“Given the severity of the crimes, justice must be allowed to run its course,” said Justice Minister Morgan Johansson.
Lundin Petroleum says it is totally unacceptable that the Ministry of Justice has approved the prosecutor’s request to pursue the case.
Lundin Petroleum, formerly known as Lundin Oil, was operative in southern Sudan between 1997 and 2003, during the civil war. Thousands of people were killed, villages were razed to the ground and the population was displaced. The company has been accused of aggravating the conflict through its presence in the region
Dagens Nyheter has gained access to the documents handed over by Hermitage Capital Management to the Swedish Economic Crime Authority (EBM), which allegedly show that USD 175 million has been laundered via 365 Nordea bank accounts in Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden between 2007 and 2013.
Three Swedish companies are named in the documents; a Stockholm jeweller and a pool manufacturer have together received around the equivalent of half a million kronor in exchange for “clothing and electronic equipment”. A third company, which trades in fur hats, has purportedly received close to SEK 1 million from three different companies with accounts in Danske Bank Estonia. The payments were made for “computer accessories”.
Bill Browder, the owner of Hermitage Capital Management, has told Svenska Dagbladet that the money which flowed through the Nordea accounts was linked to Russia’s Klyuev group – a criminal organisation based in Moscow.
Defence Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has disclosed to the Philippine News Agency that the Department of National Defense will most likely buy Saab’s Gripen C fighter jet for the Philippine Air Force. Besides being cheaper and less expensive in maintenance costs than the US F-16, the Gripen has proven to be an excellent fighter aircraft, he said (ed.).
The article was published on Monday, but Saab has not received any new information to date. Ann Wolgers, press officer at Saab, says the security and defence company is following events closely but “as far as we know, no decisions have been made …”.
The Philippines plans to buy 10-12 new fighter jets in a deal valued at around SEK 5 billion.
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