SAS shares halted after media speculation

Shares in Scandinavian airline SAS were suspended on Tuesday morning following media reports about the company’s strained finances, according to the Stockholm stock exchange.

SAS shares halted after media speculation

The suspension was announced after talks between the Stockholm stock exchange and the Financial Supervision Authority (Finansinspektionen).

“We never comment in detail about individual companies or suspensions of trading. But we will say that we have put a stop to trading in SAS shares until further notice, after consulting with the Financial Supervision Authority,” explained Carl Norell, spokesman for the Stockholm stock exchange, to the TT news agency.

“The background is the information that has swirled in the media about the company’s financial situation.”

“It is to ensure fair trading, that is to say that the whole market has access to the same information. Now we expect clarification from the company in the form of a press conference. And we predict this information will come out during the day,” he said.

SAS has suffered weakening finances since a 2009 investment of 11 billion kronor ($1.64 billion) from the owners, mostly consisting of the Swedish, Norwegian and Danish states.

Despite Sweden investing 2.4 billion kronor in 2009, its current share is valued at 425 million kronor.

Last week, rumours circulated about an SAS crisis and an impending savings programme, with staff forced to reapply for their jobs but with lower wages.

According to the Dagens Industri newspaper (DI), SAS owners held a crisis meeting last Thursday.

Trading was resumed around 11.30 on Tuesday morning when the airline announced expected profits, triggering a surge for its shares.

TT/The Local/og

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‘We agree to disagree’: Still no progress in marathon SAS strike talks

By lunchtime on Friday, talks between the Scandinavian airline SAS and unions representing striking pilots were still stuck on "difficult issues".

'We agree to disagree': Still no progress in marathon SAS strike talks

“We agree that we disagree,” Roger Klokset, from the Norwegian pilots’ union, said at lunchtime outside the headquarters of the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise in Stockholm, where talks are taking place. “We are still working to find a solution, and so long as there is still some point in continuing negotiations, we will do that.” 

Mats Ruland, a mediator for the Norwegian government, said that there were “still several difficult issues which need to be solved”. 

At 1pm on Friday, the two sides took a short break from the talks for lunch, after starting at 9am. On Thursday, they negotiated for 15 hours, breaking off at 1am on Friday morning. 

READ ALSO: What’s the latest on the SAS plane strike?

Marianne Hernæs, SAS’s negotiator on Friday told journalists she was tired after sitting at the negotiating table long into the night. 

“We need to find a model where we can meet in the middle and which can ensure that we pull in the income that we are dependent on,” she said. 

Klokset said that there was “a good atmosphere” in the talks, and that the unions were sticking together to represent their members.

“I think we’ve been extremely flexible so far. It’s ‘out of this world’,’ said Henrik Thyregod, with the Danish pilots’ union. 

“This could have been solved back in December if SAS had not made unreasonable demands on the pilots,” Klokset added. 

The strike, which is now in its 12th day, has cost SAS up to 130m kronor a day, with 2,550 flights cancelled by Thursday, affecting 270,000 passengers.