SAS shares halted after media speculation

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.

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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