Sweden “close to deflation”

In its annual report US investment bank Morgan Stanley warns that Sweden is close to deflation. The alarm came when the CPI unexpectedly slid to 0.5 per cent in November, according to chief economist Stephen Roach.

Roach is surprised that the risk of deflation has arisen despite a strong economy and a buoyant property market. The strong crown is at the root of the problem, according to the investment bank, which warns that other European countries, such as Germany, could also face the risk of deflation.

Barnevik quits Astra

Percy Barnevik is to leave his post as chair of the Astra Zeneca board at the end of the year and will be replaced by Renault boss Louis Schweitzer. The news comes at the same time as a study has shown that Astra’s Iressa drug has failed to help cancer patients live longer and while Astra’s chief executive Tom McKillop remains confident over the 2004 profit forecast, it is possible there may be write-downs on Iressa and Exanta.

The group has now decided to review its entire research programme and Swedish research director Martin Nicklasson will be replaced by British John Patterson.

DVD market expanding

The Swedish DVD market has grown by 60 per cent in one year and the sector forecasts sales of around 14 million DVD discs for a total of 2 billion crowns.

Brummer’s ups and downs

Brummer & Partners’ Zenit, Sweden’s largest hedge fund, has fallen by 3.3 per cent in 2004 while the company’s Latitude hedge fund has shown a return of 47 per cent since the turn of the year.

Brummer’s funds have on average generated a return of 6 per cent, according to Klaus Jäntti, chief executive of the company.

Balkan funds generated best return

SvD reveals that stock funds investing in Eastern Europe have generated the best return this year with the Gustavia Balkan fund generating a 78 per cent return since the start of the year.

Competition Authority against SF acquisition

The Swedish Competition Authority hopes to stop the SF chain of cinemas from buying competitor Sandrews, since this would given SF a monopoly on the market.

TV4 on observation list

The Stockholm bourse has placed TV4 on its observation list since the broadcasting company’s four major shareholders now own more than 75 per cent of the stock.

If the ownership situation has not changed within six months, TV4 could be struck off the ‘A’ list.

Sources: Dagens Nyheter, Svenska Dagbladet, Dagens Industri


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