Business startups climb in 2010

The number of business startups increased in Sweden by 17.6 percent in the first half of 2010 in comparison with the corresponding period of last year.

Since January, 32,687 new companies have been registered in comparison to 27,786 in the first half of last year, representing a 17.6 percent increase, according to a new report from Visma SPCS based on data from the Companies Registration Office (Bolagsverket).

“The strong increase in the number of new companies means that Visma’s forecast of 60,000 new enterprises in 2010 will likely be surpassed,” said Rolf Dahlberg, CEO of Visma SPCS, in a statement.

In June alone, 5,594 new companies were registered, the report shows, up from 4,503 in June 2009, representing an increase of 24.2 percent.

Most of these companies were new stock companies (aktiebolaget), which increased for the third month running and climbed 60.5 percent in June, suggesting that the move to halve the capital requirement on April 1st has spurred a new trend.

Even better news is that new business starts grew in all 21 counties across the country for the first time in a long time. The most stable growth is taking place in Västerbotten and Gävleborg counties. Since the beginning of the year, all counties have registered increases above the 9.5 percent forecast.

In June, the growth of new businesses was highest in Västerbotten county, at 78.6 percent. It also led the country in the growth of new stock companies, which more than tripled.

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Zlatan faces first club as PSG host Malmö

Sweden's international star footballer Zlatan Ibrahimovic gets the chance to face his home town club as Paris Saint-Germain face Malmö FF in a Champions League clash on Tuesday.

Zlatan faces first club as PSG host Malmö
Paris Saint-Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic grew up in Malmö, Sweden. Photo: AP Photo/Jacques Brinon

The French champions and the Swedish title-holders meet at the Parc des Princes in the opening round of games in Group A, and with Real Madrid and Shakhtar Donetsk also in the section, neither team can afford a slip-up.

It will be a particularly special occasion for Ibrahimovic, who grew up in the southern Swedish city and scored 16 goals in 40 league appearances for Malmö before moving to Ajax in 2001, later enjoying illustrious spells with Juventus, Inter Milan, AC Milan and Barcelona.

After Malmö beat Celtic 4-3 on aggregate to qualify for the group stage, Ibrahimovic, now 33, wrote on Twitter: “One day I hope to experience the Champions League in Malmö on the pitch. Congratulations!”

IN PICTURES: Zlatan pays visit to home town Malmö

The return match in Sweden is not until November, but in the meantime Ibrahimovic will be eager to help his current side get off to a winning start in Europe, and get among the goals – he is presently just three shy of Pauleta's club record tally of 109.

The striker missed Friday's 2-2 draw at home to Bordeaux in Ligue 1 due to an abdominal injury suffered on international duty last week, but Paris coach Laurent Blanc stressed that Ibrahimovic wanted to save himself for Malmö.

In his absence, Paris dropped points for the first time in Ligue 1 this season, two catastrophic errors from German goalkeeper Kevin Trapp gifting Bordeaux goals in reply to Edinson Cavani's brace for PSG.

“We need to move on, although we also need to analyse the reasons why we drew. It's a different competition, a different opponent, but we will need to be much more rigorous and disciplined against Malmö,” warned Blanc.

Malmö qualified for the Champions League after beating Celtic. Photo: Andreas Hillergren/TT

Malmö finished bottom of their Champions League group last season, losing five out of six games, and they head to France on the back of a 1-1 draw at home to Elfsborg that left them fifth in the Swedish top flight.

With only seven games of the season remaining, a third consecutive title looks to be beyond them.

However, Norwegian coach Åge Hareide will be hoping Malmö, beaten European Cup finalists in 1979, can reproduce the performances that took them through three rounds of qualifying to reach the group stage.

“They are huge favourites and have world class players in every position, but we showed against Salzburg and Celtic that we have the level,” Swedish international defender Anton Tinnerholm told regional newspaper Sydsvenskan.

Malmö, whose star man is former Ajax and Werder Bremen striker Markus Rosenberg, are without Agon Mehmeti due to a foot injury.

READ ALSO: Zlatan breaks internet in rush for Malmö tickets