Business Brief

Nordea forecasts two years of prosperity

Both the Swedish and the global economies have peaked, according to Nordea in its latest economic forecast.

Nevertheless, the bank is anticipating two more years of prosperity, despite elements of uncertainty such as oil prices, terror threats and developments in China. The bank also forecasts that the Riksbank will raise the key interest rate to 4 per cent within the next two years.

Swedish exports, particularly within the telecom and automotive sectors, are pushing up growth, which is expected to be 3.4 per cent this year.

Nordea believes that companies will need to recruit staff within the coming year with visible unemployment falling from 5.7 per cent this year to 4.8 per cent in 2006.

JC plans to streamline

Loss-ridden fashion chain JC is planning cost-cutting measures after posting losses of 111 million crowns and 72 million crowns in the past two years.

It is primarily JC’s wholly owned subsidiaries’ Brothers and Sisters that are bleeding and, according to DI sources, job cuts are in the offing.

Cosmetics chain plans new offensive

Cosmetics chain Kicks plans a new offensive with 85 new stores to open within the next five years.

The chain, which currently operates 65 stores, plans to have 150 stores by 2009 and will need to recruit some 300-350 people in order to implement the plan.


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Corporate deals set to take off in Sweden in 2011: report

Sweden is one of the hottest markets in the Nordic region for corporate mergers and acquisitions, according to a new report.

Eight out of ten managers at large Nordic companies surveyed by business consultancy KPMG expected the M&A market in Sweden to grow in 2011.

Corporate deal growth in Sweden’s neighbours Denmark, Norway, and Finland, meanwhile, was only predicted by about 60 percent of the survey’s respondents.

The results of the survey are published as part of an annual review of M&A activity published by KPMG entitled Competing for growth 2011.

“We see that both venture capital firms and industrial firms are well positioned for even more business in 2011,” Christopher Fägerskiöld, head of M&A advising for KPMG Sweden, said in a statement.

According to Fägerskiöld, venture capital firms have had a difficult time selling their holdings during the financial crisis, leading to a pent up need to sell.

“At the same time, they need to show they can make acquisitions, not least those who plan on taking in money for new funds,” he said.

Last year, there were 158 deals in which companies from outside the Nordics bought a Nordic company, an increase of 48 percent.

“The most notable example was that Volvo Cars was sold to Chinese Geely,” said Fägerskiöld.

“It’s the first time that a privately owned Chinese company has bought a large and well-known western European company. It may very well pave the way for similar acquisitions.”

Respondents to the survey singled out China as the non-Nordic country that will likely carry out the most deals in the Nordic region in 2011, followed by Germany and the United States.

“We see a large interest from Swedish industrial companies to strengthen their position in Asia by acquisitions or cooperation with local companies,” said Fägerskiöld.

Many companies feel pressure to act so that the competition doesn’t get to China first.”