Swedish interest rates touch record lows

Swedish interest rates are touching new record lows while global economic growth is at its highest peak in 30 years, reported DI, adding that the 10-year long-term interest rate plunged to 3.86 per cent last Friday, its lowest level to date. The sharp fall in interest rates has sparked a debate among analysts as to whether this indicates the emergence of another financial bubble or a throwback to the 60s.

“The bond market prices in such a manner indicate that inflation is obliterated for good,” says Henrik Mitelman, chief strategist at SEB Merchant Banking.

Record low rates are the bond market’s equivalent of the equity market’s all-time high, wrote DI. The continued fall in interest rates has fuelled deflation fears in the market.

Ericsson rival Huawei enters Sweden

Ericsson’s nightmare of a rival, Chinese telecom vendor Huawei, has received the green light to set up business in Sweden – much to the chagrin of the Swedish telecom giant. However, operators Tele2 and Telia welcome the entry of the new, cheaper alternative to Ericsson and Nokia. Huawei has doubled its sales in two years. Its biggest competitive edge? Low prices.

Skanska ejected from US project…

Skanska misses out on billions of revenue in the US after getting blamed for a US project becoming too costly. It is the project involving a court complex that prompted the political leadership of Jacksonville to fire Skanska and architecture firm Cannon. In a letter to the mayor of Jacksonville, Cannon accuses Skanska for a series of costly mistakes while the project was underway.

Skanska dismissed the charges, saying that the price tag became higher than what the customer had initially expected partly because the client chose costly solutions and decided to expand the space to be constructed. Skanska’s information director also blamed higher raw material costs, such as the hike in steel prices, for the corresponding increase in total expenditure.

…but wins two contracts in the UK

Skanska won two telecom contracts in the UK worth a total of roughly 1.3 billion crowns. The contracts are included in the order intake for the fourth quarter of 2004.

Ikea’s Moscow inauguration fizzles out

Ikea’s plan to open a new shopping mall outside Moscow fizzled out Friday, fanning speculation that local authorities were out to collect bribes from the Swedish furniture chain.

3 wins new customers in Sweden

Mobile operator 3’s ‘zero tax’ marketing gimmick has paid off. The content provider, which is partly owned by Investor, now has close to 200,000 customers in Sweden, or about 85 per cent of all 3G subscriptions in the country. Within a year the company is expected to increase the speed of its 3G network considerably.

Sources: Dagens Nyheter, Svenska Dagbladet, Dagens Industri


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