Stockholm bourse ends week down

The Stockholm stock exchange ended a stable week with a decline on Friday as the OMXS index closed down 1.2 percent due to concerns over the economic outlook.

The Stockholm bourse followed the Asian and US bourses which fell on Thursday night. Other European exchanges also dipped as global economic concerns resurfaced. By the close of trading the OMXS index had dipped 1.2 percent to 312.7 points.

Telecom shares performed poorly with Telia Sonera recording a 2.9 percent fall to 46.30 kronor ($7.33) and Tele 2 fell 1.4 percent to 104 kronor.

Telecom network supplier Ericsson fell 2.3 percent to 13.40 kronor on news that the firm plans to brighten up its stock price with a 5:1 reverse split. Dagens Industri described the manouver as typical for a company in crisis and several commentators questioned the logic of the move.

Oil firm Lundin Petroleum was near the top of the winners list of major Swedish firms amid further gains in oil prices and renewed speculation that global oil production has reached its peak. Dagens Industri reports that according to Kjell Aleklett, a professor at Uppsala University and chairman of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil, global production has remained at 84.5 million barrels per day over the last three years despite increasing global demand. Peak production is unlikely to ever climb above 90 million barrels per day, Aleklett forecast.

It was a good day for automotive firm Haldex who announced the purchase of Concentric, a British diesel engine pump supplier, for 920 million kronor. Haldex’s stock climbed 5.9 percent to close at 98.50 kronor despite also reporting a decline in profits for the fourth quarter 2007.

Early trading in New York was weighed down by continued credit concerns. Investment bank Merrill Lynch encouraged pessimism with sell recommendations for Fannie Mae and Freddi Mac, the two largest US mortgage institutes. The day ended in positive territory however as news filtered through that financial firm Ambac is to be bailed out.

The Dow Jones-index closed up 0.8 percent to 12,381.0 points and the Nasdaq Composite-index climbed 0.2 percent to 2,303.4 points.

London’s FTSE-index fell 0.7 percent to 5,888.5, Frankfurt’s DAX-index fell 1.7 percent to 6,788.7 and the Paris CAC-index fell 0.7 percent to 4,824.6.


Ericsson suspends all Russia operations indefinitely

Swedish network equipment maker Ericsson said Monday that it was suspending all of its Russian operations over the war in Ukraine for the foreseeable future.

Ericsson suspends all Russia operations indefinitely

The telecom giant already announced in late February that it would stop all deliveries to Russia following Moscow’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine.

“In the light of recent events and of European Union sanctions, the company will now suspend its affected business with customers in Russia indefinitely,” Ericsson said in a statement.

The company added that it was “engaging with customers and partners regarding the indefinite suspension of the affected business.”

“The priority is to focus on the safety and well-being of Ericsson employees in Russia and they will be placed on paid leave,” it said.

READ ALSO: How has Sweden responded to Putin’s war in Ukraine so far?

Hundreds of Western firms ranging from Ikea to Coca-Cola, Goldman Sachs and McDonald’s have stopped operations in the country since the invasion, with French banking group Societe Generale announcing Monday it was selling its stake in Russia’s Rosbank.

Ericsson has around 600 employees in Russia, and is a “major supplier to the largest operator MTS and the fourth largest operator Tele2,” a company spokeswoman told AFP, adding that together with Ukraine, Russia accounts for less than two percent of revenue.

As a result, the equipment maker said it would record a provision for 900 million Swedish kronor ($95 million, 87 million euros) for the first quarter of 2022 for “impairment of assets and other exceptional costs,” though no staff redundancy costs were included.
Ericsson is due to publish its first quarter earnings on April 14.