Thailand keen to buy Sweden’s JAS fighters

Kongsok Wantana, commander in chief of the Royal Thai Air Force, told journalists on Friday that Thailand had decided to replace its fleet of 16 ageing F5 planes with the JAS 39 Gripen fighter jets. According to Reuters, the deal could be worth some 10 billion crowns.

Saab is, however, toning down the significance of the commander’s remarks and assessments of the value of the deal.

“It’s certainly good news that Thailand is so interested, but nothing is decided. We haven’t even begun talks on price, delivery terms and the like,” says Peter Larsson, Saab’s press officer.

Persson in favour of JAS deal

Prime Minister Göran Persson is in favour of the sale of JAS 39 Gripen jets to Thailand. Not only would such a deal help ease the economic burden on the defence, it would also help to increase trade with south-east Asia, he commented.

Stena poised to invest in supertankers

The Stena group has drafted a supertanker that is 299 metres long and able to carry 200,000 tonnes of oil and which is specifically designed to traffic the Baltic Sea.

Stena has plans to order four such tankers, the cost of which is expected to be in the region of 2.5 billion crowns.

The tankers are intended to carry Russian oil to the USA and Western Europe. With Russian oil exports on the increase, Stena plans to set ten newly built tankers in the Baltic in the coming years.

No support for Capio

Unconfirmed sources suggest that the European Commission is not prepared to support healthcare group Capio in its battle to prevent a ban on profit-driven hospitals in Sweden

House market cooling down

In the past year house prices have risen by 10 per cent in Sweden with a villa costing an average 1.3 million crowns, though there are huge variations between regions. In metropolitan areas the average house price is now over 2 million crowns.

However, according to Statistics Sweden, there are signs that the housing market is cooling down.

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.”