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Scania bosses made pre-bid shares purchases

Two top Scania bosses made substantial shares purchases in the Swedish truck making company three weeks before majority owner Volkswagen made its take-over bid.

Scania bosses made pre-bid shares purchases
Scania CEO Martin Lundstedt. File photo: TT

Business daily Dagens Industri (DI) reported on Tuesday that CEO Martin Lundstedt bought a large number of shares on January 30th, several weeks before the offer was made. If the Volkswagen bid were to be accepted, Lundstedt would make 1.7 million kronor in profit, DI calculated.

Also finance head Jan Ytteberg bought shares on the same day to the tune of a half million profit in case of a successful German take-over. 

Due to their standing and insight into the company's affairs, Lundstedt and Ytterberg must by law report any changes to their shares portfolio to Sweden's Financial Supervisory Authority (Finansinspektionen – FI). 

"If you have insider information you cannot act based on that information regardless of whether you report the transaction to us or not," trade survey unit head Johan Allstrin told the TT news agency on Tuesday.

Any criminal probe, however, would be instigated by the Swedish police's financial crimes division.

As rumours were already swirling that Volkswagen would try to up its stake in the Södertälje-based company, some observers said they were surprised the two top managers would even ponder making such shares purchases. 

"It's remarkable that such high-level bosses dared go in and trade," net broker Avanza spokesman Claes Hemberg said about the the case. "They probably did not know about the bid, as then they wouldn't have had the courage to do so, but they should have been thinking long-term." 

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CAR

This is the Swedes’ favourite car model (hint: it’s not a Volvo)

Sales of new cars in Sweden rose 7.9 percent last year, according to fresh figures. And for the first time in more than five decades, the car topping the list of most-sold models is not a Volvo.

This is the Swedes' favourite car model (hint: it's not a Volvo)
A Volkswagen Golf Alltrack. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

A total of 372,296 new cars were registered in 2016, said Swedish automakers' association Bil Sweden. Truck sales rose by a whopping 15.3 percent, with 58,174 new trucks sold last year.

Perhaps surprisingly, the most popular model was not the iconic Swedish car Volvo, but rather a German Volkswagen. Its Golf model was Sweden's most sold car, racking up 22,084 sales.

It is the first time in 54 years a brand other than Volvo tops the list in Volvo's birth country. In 1962 Volkswagen's famous 'Beetle' was the most sold car in Sweden.

The last of the Volvo V70, Sweden's best-selling car for two decades prior to last year, rolled off the conveyor belt earlier this year and it seems the newer V90 has not yet found its place in Swedish hearts.

READ ALSO: Volvo bids farewell to Sweden's favourite car

However, it was not far behind. Volvo sold 21,321 of its V70/XC70/S90/V90, which are counted as one model in Bil Sweden's statistics, in 2016, second behind Volkswagen Golf. The company, which is owned by Chinese Geely, also held on to the largest market share, with four of its models in the top-ten.

The sale of so called 'super green cars' – vehicles with less than 50g/km carbon dioxide emissions – rose by 51 percent last year compared to 2015.

“Our forecast is that around 18,000 new super green cars will be registered in 2017, which represents a share of five percent of the total market,” said Bil Sweden's CEO Bertil Moldén.

In France meanwhile, sales of new cars breached the symbolic two-million threshold for the first time since 2011, according to the French automakers' association CCFA.

The most popular car models in 2016 (Bil Sweden)

1. VW Golf
2. Volvo V70II, S/V90N
3. Volvo S/V60
4. Volvo XC60
5. VW Passat
6. Volvo V40N
7. Toyota Auris
8. VW Polo
9. Kia Cee'd
10. Skoda Octavia