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State-owned companies jump in value

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16:55 CEST+02:00
The 57 Swedish state-owned firms are estimated to have increased their total worth by 24 percent or 120 billion kronor ($15.77 billion) to 620 billion kronor in 2009, according to new government estimates.

In 2009, revenue from state-owned enterprises grew to 352.7 billion kronor from 312.5 billion kronor. However, profit after tax declined to 34.7 billion kronor from 43.4 billion kronor. Dividends also trimmed to 20.8 billion kronor from 21.8 billion kronor.

The government outlined how it has evaluated the portfolio of state-owned companies throughout its mandate period to determine which ones it can privatize.

Since its election in 2006, the government has sold its shares in Vin & Sprit, Vasakronan and in OMX, netting slightly more than 119 billion kronor. It also oversaw the merger of Sweden's Posten and Post Danmark.

In addition, it has renewed and clarified the goals of Sveaskog and Vattenfall. The government also undertook a comprehensive restructuring of Apoteket, which resulted in the sale of some of its retail outlets. The government claims this has brought more players into the market and increased competition.

The government's holdings in TeliaSonera, Nordea Bank and SAS also rose in value by 55 percent to 147.2 billion kronor by the end of the year from 94.67 billion in 2008. The value of the holdings slipped slightly by 3 percent to 142.99 billion as of June 16th.

In addition, the government's efforts to increase the proportion of women on the boards of state-owned companies has paid off. The proportion of women on state-owned company boards continues to increase and now stands at 49 percent in the fully owned state-owned companies, compared with 21 percent at listed companies.

The proportion of chairwomen at state-owned companies is also increasing and now stands at 34 percent, compared with 3 percent at listed companies, an enormous improvement from 2005, when the figure was 22 percent.

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