Ringholm urged to pay tax on summerhouse

Finance Minister Bosse Ringholm has to pay property tax on his summer house in Östra Stranden in Halmstad, even if it isn't classified as a real estate property, according to Leif Mutén, a professor in international law. According to property brokers, the summer houses in the area are worth much more than the finance minister has declared to the Swedish National Tax Board.

Mutén and the property brokers were reacting to a DN story published Monday about Ringholm managing to evade property tax on his summerhouse.

Ringholm asserted that he has declared his summerhouse property but that based on the latest tax assessment from the Tax Board, the building has no taxable value, since the property’s worth is less than SKr 50,000. However, Sven-Olof Lodin, a professor in financial law, says that Ringholm himself has the obligation to inform the Tax Board on the value of his property.

Selling state companies: “a bad deal”

State-owned companies are running smoothly except for crisis-hit SJ and SAS. The 55 companies in which the state owns more than 20 per cent increased their pre-tax profits by 38 per cent to 16 billion crowns for the first half of 2004. Vattenfall and TeliaSonera accounted for 73 per cent of the profit sum.

Industry and Trade Minister Leif Pagrotsky expects an even better second half so that this year’s dividends will match the record year 1999 when the state harvested 22 billion crowns.

“These dividends help boost state finances. To sell off state companies would therefore be a bad deal,” says Pagrotsky.

Riksbank not worried about inflation

Deputy Riksbank Governor Kristina Persson does not see any palpable risks to the inflation target in the next two years, according to a speech delivered in Paris yesterday. The market interpreted this remark as an indication that Persson won’t vote for a rate hike when the Swedish central bank meets on October 13.

7-Eleven ordered to beef up security

The Swedish work environment board, Arbetsmiljöverket, has criticised 7-Eleven franchiser Scandinavian Convenience and the franchise-holder for failing to provide adequate security for their nightshift employees. The board ordered the convenience chain stores to beef up security or face closure.

Sources: Dagens Nyheter, Svenska Dagbladet, Dagens Industri


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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.”