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HQ board quits as trading losses are declared

The board of embattled financial concern HQ Bank, including founder Mats Qviberg, have resigned a day after the bank announced the extent of the losses incurred by the closure of its trading portfolio.

HQ board quits as trading losses are declared

The mass resignation comes a day after the organisation announced an accelerated closure settlement of its trading portfolio of 1.23 billion kronor ($158 million) in the second quarter, including the 297 million kronor loss announced earlier this month.

“The closure of the trading portfolio was very costly,” wrote HQ acting president and CEO Stephen Dahlbo. “It was, however, of the utmost importance to quickly be able to put the uncertainty and worries behind us.”

“Based on a stable financial position and a low level of risk we will now be able to place all resources on strengthening HQ’s value proposition and thereby creating added value for our clients, employees and shareholders,” he added.

HQ has received an advance of 235 million kronor from Öresund and several individual shareholders for a forthcoming new rights issue that is intended to be conducted in the autumn.

This advance was provided to HQ “to strengthen the capital base and capital adequacy until the planned new rights issue has been completed,” the company said.

In addition, Öresund has converted a fixed-term subordinated debenture to HQ of 150 million kronor into a perpetual subordinated debenture. It also received a perpetual subordinated debenture of 21 million from Mats and Eva Qviberg.

At the request of Öresund, an extraordinary general meeting will be held to elect HQ’s new board.

“All directors will in conjunction with the meeting vacate their positions,” HQ said in a statement.

HQ has hired a lawyer for a thorough review of its trading operations. This audit will be completed before the extraordinary general meeting.

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Recipe: How to make a Sweden-inspired colourful couscous salad

Couscous, fruit and beetroot combine in this colourful salad from Swedish food writer John Duxbury.

Recipe: How to make a Sweden-inspired colourful couscous salad
Fruity couscous salad with beetroot. Photo: John Duxbury/Swedish Food

Swedes are great lovers of salads and make a considerable use of beetroot (beets) as they grow well in Sweden. In recent years they have also started to use couscous a lot, something that goes well with beetroot, and which now often features in Swedish salads.

Another feature about Swedish salads is that they often use fruit, sometimes just for added colour, but here the figs are a key ingredient.

Summary

Serves 8

Preparation: 10 Minutes

Cooking: 40 Minutes

Based on a recipe published by ICA in Sweden

Tips

•  Use pearl couscous if you can as it looks better and adds a bit of bite to the salad. Pearl couscous is sometimes referred to as jumbo couscous, Israeli couscous, mougrabieh, fregola or giant couscous, depending on where you live.

•  I have increased the amount of salad from 70 g to 150 g and the quantity of raisins from 30 g to 75 g, but you may prefer the original quantities.

Ingredients

600 g (1 1/4 lb) beetroot (beets)

200 g (1 1/4 cups) couscous

1 small red onion

3 fresh figs

75 g (1/2 cup) raisins

150 g (5 oz) mixed salad leaves

Dressing:

3 tbsp rapeseed oil

1 tbsp balsamic vinegar, preferably white

1 tsp salt

freshly ground black pepper to taste

Method

1. Trim most of the stalk from the beetroot, scrub, put them in a pan, cover with water, add some salt and bring to boil. Simmer until tender, which can take anything from 10 to 50 minutes depending on their size. When cool, peel and cut into small wedge.

2. Meanwhile cook the couscous according to the instructions on the packet. Drain and loosen with a fork if it is too sticky.

3. Peel the onion and slice thinly.

4. Halve the figs and slice thinly.

5. Mix all the ingredients in a large dish, keeping back some couscous, fig slices and raisins.

6. Whisk the ingredients for the dressing together. Pour over the salad and toss.

7. Garnish with the remaining couscous, fig slices and raisins.

Recipe courtesy of John Duxbury, founder and editor of Swedish Food