Swedish exporters miss out on Asia’s upswing

Swedish export companies have missed out on Asia's economic upswing, according to Mauro Gozzo, chief economist at the Swedish Trade Council. In the Trade Council's revised export forecast unveiled yesterday, Gozzo noted that Swedish exports to Asia rose by a mere 2 per cent during the first half of the year, compared to a forecast of 13 per cent for full year 2004.

Swedish exports are now seen up 8.5 per cent this year, one per cent higher than the Trade Council’s estimate issued over the past quarter.

“This will be an extremely strong year for the global economy, and probably even become one of the top economic growth years. In such situations, Swedish exports usually rise by roughly 10 per cent,” said Gozzo.

However, he noticed that Swedish export companies failed to capitalise on the upswing in Asia. With the exception of Japan, most Asian economies are on a roll. Taiwan, Thailand and Malaysia have growth rates of between 6 and 8 per cent this year while China has passed the overheating limit with a GDP growth of 10 per cent in the first half of 2004.

Adolf Lundin 170 million kronor richer in one day

A decision yesterday by the Russian government to open the world’s largest petroleum and oil company Gazprom to foreign investors sent the Gazprom share price 13 per cent higher. This, in turn, raised the value of Adolf Lundin’s Vostok Nafta by 570 million crowns and Lundin, personally, became 170 million crowns richer on the windfall, reported DI.

Through successive buy transactions, Vostok Nafta has acquired 274 million shares in Gazprom, now worth 6.3 billion crowns.

TDC bid for Song Networks

Danish telecom operator TDC yesterday placed a bid for Song Networks worth roughly 4 billion crowns, corresponding to a bid premium of 45.4 per cent. For Song Networks’ main owner Stena Adactum, controlled by the family of Göteborg-based shipping magnate Dan Sten Olsson, TDC’s offer will generate a capital gain of 300 million crowns.

The bid – considered generous by many analysts – is requires the consent of Song Networks’ shareholders and the approval of regulatory authorities.

24 hours that shook Handelsbanken

In August 1978, the US government froze Handelsbanken’s assets in the USA after the bank exchanged 40 million dollars for the Hanoi government – at the time; the US’s hated nemesis. This crisis was held secret by the Swedish government for 26 years. But now, former Expressen editor in chief and US correspondent Staffan Thorsell has exposed the historical incident in a book entitled “Sweden in the White House”.


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