National Debt Office approves Saab deal

National Debt Office approves Saab deal
The Swedish National Debt Office (Riksgälden) decided to approve Saab's request to sell shares in Saab Automobile.

“The state still has collateral to cover the guarantees provided, also without a pledge of shares in the current property,” wrote the office in a statement released on Tuesday.

The decision is now up to the government.

Car manufacturer Saab Automobile reported a loss of approximately 3 billion kronor ($478 million) for 2010, according to their annual report, on Tuesday registered with Swedish Companies Registration Office (Bolagsverket).

The operating profit landed on minus 3.1 billion kronor.

2010’s turnover was 6.3 billion kronor. Car sales numbered 28,284, plummeting from the previous year’s result, when 39,745 were sold, not to mention 2008, when roughly 93,000 cars were sold.

Sales and production were heavily affected by the events in early 2010, when the firm paused production during seven weeks.

One of the greatest challenges since then has been to replenish the supplies with resellers, as well as restoring reseller and customer faith in the brand. This has proved difficult, writes the company in their annual report.

SAAB Automobile list several uncertain factors for the company’s future: running out of cash during 2011, a risk of losing money due to raised interest rates, and currency changes that the company has no possibility of insuring themselves against, according to the annual report.

Accountants also point out the risks with the business.

“If the company does not succeed in securing requisite financing, or if there is a negative development for the company, continued operations will be uncertain,” write the accountants.

The government will make a decision on the matter based on the material they receive from the National Debt Office.

“We will look carefully at the material prepared by the National Debt Office,” said Johanna Martin of the Ministry of Enterprise to news agency TT.

She would not speculate into when a decision could be ready.

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