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Thailand in favour of Sweden's Gripen

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11:22 CET+01:00
"It seems positive," said Defence Minister Leni Björklund following talks with Thai officers and political leaders over Thailand's possible procurement of the JAS 39 Gripen fighter aircraft.

The Defence Minister, who has been on a one-week visit to Singapore and Thailand, also told TT that she sees "a huge amount of interest in the Gripen, which is something the industry (Saab) should exploit".

Björklund has held talks in Singapore over continued naval co-operation. Singapore has previously purchased four second-hand Swedish submarines and crew have received training in Sweden. With the forthcoming defence cuts in Sweden, several Swedish submarines are likely to be redundant. The Defence Minister sees that there is opportunity to discuss new business, should Singapore decide to extend its fleet, reported SvD.

Ericsson suspected of paying bribes...

Telecom equipment manufacturer Ericsson is suspected of having paid out 1 billion crowns in bribes to Russia, reported DI.

The payment was apparently made from Ericsson's EMK company in Switzerland, via Austria, to Russia during the autumn of 1999. At the end of the Nineties, Ericsson had problems breaking into the Russian market, which was judged to have huge growth potential.

...and wins order from 3

Ericsson has won an order to supply radio and transmission equipment and related services in Sweden, Norway and Denmark from 3G operator 3. The order is worth some 2.55 billion crowns.

Nordic Capital acquires Falck

Swedish Nordic Capital is to acquire Danish rescue services company Falck A/S for approximately 6 billion crowns. Nordic Capital has plans to expand Falck's unit for roadside breakdown assistance in Sweden.

Falck A/S is a hive-off from Group 4 Falck and went public in July. The company is expected to post turnover of 5.8 billion crowns this year.

Clothing cheaper next year

Clothes prices are expected to fall by as much as 15-20 per cent next year when the EU abolishes import quotas on clothing and shoes. Imports from China and India are expected to rise drastically.

Consumer debt slowly declining

Finaninspektionen (the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority) has reported that household debt rose by 30 billion crowns in Q3, which may be compared with 45 billion crowns in Q2.

During the first nine months of the year, households' financial assets rose by 2.1 per cent to total of 2,447 billion crowns. During the corresponding period in 2003, households' financial assets rose by 7.6 per cent, mainly as the result of a stronger market upswing.

Sources: Dagens Nyheter, Svenska Dagbladet

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