Karolinska Institutet opens office in Singapore

Karolinska Institutet is to open an office in Singapore as the resources it needs to maintain its leading position in medical research are not available in Sweden. KI ranks among the largest medical universities in Europe, but the main research investments are being made in Asia. "We have to be there," says KI’s rector, Harriet Wallberg-Henriksson.

Juvenile unemployment

Young Swedes are experiencing higher unemployment, a greater feeling of exclusion and higher figures for ill health, when compared with other groups on the labour market, according to a new report from LO (Swedish Trade Union Confederation). The situation is worst for youngsters from poorer homes, who are born outside Sweden and live in a metropolitan area (read: poor young immigrants in Stockholm).

Concentration of newspaper ownership

A double spread in Dagens Industri this week looked at how competition among newspapers for advertising revenue is leading to greater concentration on the ownership side. It listed the ten largest newspaper owners in Sweden, starting with NWT, Stampen and Herenco, and VLT. The Liberal party and the Centre party are also among them.

Volvo IT relocates consulting jobs to India

Volvo IT, a part of VolvoGruppen, which already has 170 IT consultants in India and Poland, plans to have between 600-800 of them there within three years, mainly in India. This was disclosed by Rolf Ågren, Volvo IT’s deputy MD at DI’s Nordic Banking Forum yesterday. “Indian consultants are just as good as Sweden’s, if not better, and cost only half as much,” he says.

H&M growing at record rate

Hennes & Mauritz is expanding at a record pace. This autumn it plans to open 65 new outlets, which corresponds to one store every working day for the rest of the year. “Most of the growth will be in Germany, Great Britain, France, Spain and the USA,” says Rolf Eriksen, H&M’s MD. H&M’s y/y turnover was up by 10% for the year’s first nine months, as was its operating income.

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.”