Tour operator Thomas Cook has reportedly received a takeover approach for its Nordic operations – Thomas Cook Northern Europe - from private equity group Triton.
Triton, which acquired online tour operator Sunweb in December last year, is now prepared to expand, reports Sky News.
The offer is said to be worth “several hundred million pounds” and would give Thomas Cook, which has been struggling in recent days, a boost.
The tour operator has a market leading position in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland, via its Ving, Tjäreborg and Spies subsidies.
Scandinavian airline SAS has signed an agreement with Airbus to research eco-system and infrastructure requirements for hybrid and electric aircraft.
The joint research project is intended to build a collective knowledge of “opportunities and challenges” associated with electric and hybrid power.
One challenge will be to store sufficient electricity so that aircraft can carry up to 100 passengers, according to SAS CEO Rickard Gustafsson.
Initially, the project will run from June 2019 through to the end of 2020. Tests will be conducted in Stockholm and Toulouse, where Airbus has its base.
Moderate leader Ulf Kristersson has reacted to warnings about Sweden’s electricity supply and the industry’s demands for political action.
“With its irresponsible policy and actions, the government is on the brink of pushing Sweden into an acute electricity crisis. The energy minister and the government must now understand the seriousness of the situation and take action,” he has said.
He indicates that growth, jobs and climate goals are at stake and Sweden is heading towards electricity rationing, unless politicians take swift action
Following US President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency in communications technology last week, Google, which owns the world’s most widely used mobile operating system, has announced that it will no longer share Android technology with Huawei.
Specifically, this means that Huawei’s smartphones will be cut off from future Android operating system updates and will no longer have access to apps such as Google Play and Gmail.
Kenneth Fredriksen, CEO of Huawei Sweden, describes the move as “a dramatic escalation of the trade war” between the US and China, but is convinced that a solution will be found. “There are two parts to this. One is our infrastructure business, where we will be able to maintain deliveries. As for the Android system, both we and Google are looking at what this will mean. Google has pointed out that existing customers with Huawei phones, and phones that are in stock, will not be affected. There are no grounds for current customers to be concerned, that is perhaps the most important thing to convey,” he says.
Fredriksen tells the Dagens Industri newspaper that Huawei is also working on a Plan B, in case it is permanently cut off from the Android system.
Energy company E.On has said it will discontinue electricity production at its Heleneholm district heating plant in Malmö as of 1 August, if the government hikes carbon taxes, and has warned that there is likely to be a power shortage in southern Skåne.
Utility Göteborg Energi says it will have to reduce capacity at its Rya district heating plant unless the plans to raise the taxes are shelved, accusing the government of threatening the power supply.
Energy Minister Anders Ygeman has dismissed the criticism, arguing that the government must scrap the fossil fuel subsidy in order to tackle the green shift. The tax increases will be implemented, despite the warnings of power shortages in major cities, he claims.
New statistics show that the mobile is becoming more important for growing e-commerce. Last year Swedes spent SEK 77 billion on e-commerce and this year the figure is expected to grow to SEK 88 billion. During the first quarter growth in e-commerce was 15 per cent, according to statistics from Postnord, the trade association Svensk Digital Handel and HUI Research.
Arne Andersson, e-commerce expert from Postnord says that trade is into a new phase driven by digitalisation.
The report also shows that consumers have less interest in buying cheap goods from China. This is partly due to new charges but also due to more awareness about sustainability.
The attempt by the Swedish Economic Crime Authority (Ekobrottsmyndigheten, EBM) to investigate money laundering in Swedbank has hit a stumbling block again.
The suspected money laundering via Swedish accounts was reported to the police by American financier Bill Browder. The prosecutor at EBM did not launch an investigation, citing that the transfers are so old that they have reached their statute of limitation.
Browder requested an appeal, but has had his appeal turned down by prosecutor Katarina Tidén at EBM. Browder claims the multi-billion sum that was stolen from his company Hermitage Capital in Russia was laundered via Swedbank.
He also considers the prosecutor’s decision to be wrong: “We are currently reviewing the legal possibilities for appealing,” he wrote.
Swedish housing “does not work well at all”. It benefits certain groups on the market, but many others are excluded. Macroprudential regulation cannot resolve the basic problems, said Riksbank Governor Stefan Ingves during a speech at DI Bank on Tuesday.
He added that household debt has long been a “growing risk” for the Swedish economy, which means the housing market is also an important issue for the Riksbank.
Yesterday China decided to raise tariffs on American goods worth USD 60 billion on 1 June, in response to Friday’s decision from the US to raise tariffs on goods to a value of USD 200 billion.
The escalating trade war was expected but stock exchanges fell in both the US and Europe.
Frédéric Cho, expert on China previously linked to Handelsbanken, says, “As the Swedish economy is dependent on foreign trade and investment, obstacles to trade are a negative thing. This leads to growing uncertainty and a greater risk, which makes business more expensive.”
He also told SvD that the trade war is an expression of a greater tension between the two countries, not limited to trade and that the “current number one in the world, does not want to be overtaken by perhaps a future number one”.
The Swedish krona has had a tough week, weakening by 1 per cent against the euro and by 0.5 per cent against the US dollar within a week.
Head economist of the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise Bettina Kashefi is concerned about Swedish companies: “With this model we are putting good Swedish companies on sale. There is a huge risk.”
Michael Grahn, head economist of Danske Bank agrees, “The more the krona loses, the bigger the risk that companies are bought up. It is a negative aspect if ownership ends up abroad instead of with us,” he says.
Bettina Kashefi adds that when there is a weak currency, companies can believe they are better than they are and avoid taking necessary structural measures, which means they are not prepared when the currency strengthens.
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.