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AUTO

Swedish SEB to snap up Daimler’s Berlin properties

The German car maker Daimler will announce on Friday that it is selling its properties at Berlin's Potsdamer Platz to SEB Bank of Sweden, the popular daily Bild reported, without citing sources.

According to previous media reports, the 17 buildings in the glittering new heart of the once divided city are estimated to be worth around €1.5 billion ($2.2 billion).

Daimler last year said it might sell up to €4 billion worth of properties, including the Potsdamer Platz real estate and the former company headquarters in Stuttgart-Möhringen.

ECONOMY

Swedish economy beats growth expectations

Sweden's economy grew by 0.6 percent in the first quarter from the previous three-month period, Statistics Sweden (Statistiska centralbyrån - SCB) said on Wednesday as it released fresh data that beat expectations.

Swedish economy beats growth expectations

“Sweden’s position in Europe remains strong,” Statistics Sweden said, noting Sweden had experienced growth that was “significantly higher than the European average.”

The growth, the strongest recorded in Sweden since the second quarter last year, is significantly higher than analysts’ forecasts.

They had predicted the economy would see weak growth, be flat or even contract, with a survey by Dow Jones Newswires forecasting an average increase of 0.3 percent.

Sweden’s first quarter economic health contrasts sharply with that of countries in the eurozone, of which it is not a member.

Many eurozone countries have registered weak quarterly data, such as Germany which reported 0.1 percent growth, or were in recession, such as France which saw its economy shrink by 0.2 percent.

Sweden’s “upside surprise is mainly due to stronger inventories” while “domestic demand (was) mixed,” SEB bank analyst Erica Blomgren commented on Twitter.

She said “private and public consumption (were) stronger than expected but investments (were) very weak.”

AFP/The Local/at

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