Sweden welcomes sovereign wealth funds but demands transparency

Sweden welcomes investment from sovereign wealth funds, but will demand transparency from any potential investors, the country's financial markets minister said in an interview published on Tuesday.

“Our position is that we welcome sovereign wealth funds as investors into Sweden,” Mats Odell told the Financial Times in Dubai. “We have had very good experiences with them so far; they are long-term, committed investors.

“But we will look at them (sovereign wealth funds) on a case-by-case basis. … We demand transparency, that’s for sure.”

Odell was in Dubai to discuss business opportunities there, and to brief Dubai’s officials on upcoming privatizations in Sweden, such as those of Nordea Bank and TeliaSonera.

EU Trade Commissioner Paul Mandelson said Monday that the European Union wanted a global code of conduct for sovereign wealth funds, as such funds rapidly raise their profiles with a series of massive acquisitions in developed Western markets.


Sweden joins ‘The World’ in Dubai project

Sweden is set to become an island in Dubai, complete with Viking longship-roofed villas, a floating restaurant and the chance to celebrate Midsummer with little risk of the customary rain spoiling the party.

Sweden joins 'The World' in Dubai project
The Heart of Europe project in Dubai. Photo: TT

The "Swedish" development is part of the Heart of Europe tourism development which is located off the coast of Dubai. The development is part of "The World" – an artificial archipelago of small islands connected in the shape of a map of the globe.

"The World" project in Dubai. Photo: NASA/Jesse Allen

The luxury villas on the "Swedish" island will each feature seven bedrooms and a private beach. They will furthermore resemble the upturned hull of Viking longships and will be serviced by a floating restaurant modelled on the Saluhall Market place in central Stockholm. The restaurant will serve a slew of traditional Swedish delicacies such as herring, meatballs and toast Skagen.

"The island will not only be home to the finest Swedish architecture and design, but it will also bring the best of Swedish culture and lifestyle to Dubai," Josef Kelindienst, CEO of the developers the Kleindienst Group told website.

Construction of the some 300 islands began in 2003 but the project was derailed by the finance crunch. The heart of Europe project was launched in January 2014 and will feature six man-made islands each displaying a version of European life.