Persson rules out steep rate hikes

Prime Minister Göran Persson expects a calm interest rate trend for the rest of 2004 and doesn't see any risk either of the key repo rate rising sharply in the longer term, reported Dagens Industri.

“There is no inflationary pressure in the Swedish economy. Internationally, the inflationary pressure is also quite low. The weak US jobs data show that the demand isn’t that high. This is why I don’t think we will witness any major international rate movements. I don’t think the US presidential election will alter this either,” the Prime Minister told DI.

On the other hand, Persson sees the dollar coming under severe pressure ahead.

“The dollar’s development will be more dramatic that the interest rate trend,” he said.

Finland cuts TeliaSonera’s prices

Finland’s supreme administrative court has ordered TeliaSonera to cut its interconnection fees in a decision expected to cost the Swedish-Finnish operator up to “a couple of ten million Euro” per year.

According to DI sources, this could be read as a couple of hundred million crowns, but not as much as half a billion crowns. The Finnish court ruled that the interconnection fees, just like in Sweden, have to be cost-based.

Volvo freezes stock buybacks

AB Volvo has decided to delay its stock repurchase programme until the crisis with bankruptcy-threatened UK bus company Henlys is resolved. Volvo has set aside 4.3 billion crowns for stock buybacks and originally planned to carry this out mid-August this year.

At its capital markets day on Thursday, Volvo’s construction equipment division (VCE) revealed that the Chinese market for construction machinery would be weaker for the rest of 2004.

The market has ground to a halt, following a decision by the Beijing government to stop construction activities.

MTG invests in Russian TV

STS-Media, owned to 39 per cent by Modern Times Group (MTG), is investing 750 million crowns in a new Russian TV channel.

Ryanair adds three new routes from Skavsta

Budget airline Ryanair is adding three more routes from Skavsta airport outside Stockholm while also investing 450 million crowns in a new plane that will be based in Skavsta, to cope with tougher competition.

Sources: 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.”