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May 11, 2014

Once Europe’s lead preacher of budget prudence, Finland loses righteousness

By Sakari Suoninen and Jussi Rosendahl

HELSINKI, May 11(Reuters) – Vesa Vihavainen is worried.
Merivaara, his Finnish-based hospital bed-making business, is
struggling – just like the economy that Finns once held up to
debt-laden Greeks as a model of what national thrift can
achieve.

Weak sales mean Merivaara has had to lay off staff as
Finland fails to find an exit from a two-year recession. That
spiral of lost jobs and income is also wrecking the country’s
cherished reputation for sound public finances.

Apr 29, 2014

Nokia names Rajeev Suri as new CEO, gives extra dividend

HELSINKI, April 29 (Reuters) – Rajeev Suri will become the
new chief executive of Finnish telecommunications gear maker
Nokia, the company said on Tuesday, adding that it
would return an extra 1 billion euros to shareholders from the
sale of its phone unit.

Suri, 46, until now led Nokia Solutions and Networks (NSN),
the smaller network equipment unit of Nokia when the company
still made mobile phones.

Apr 28, 2014

Angry Birds maker sees profit halve as free games proliferate

HELSINKI (Reuters) – Finland’s Rovio Entertainment, maker of the Angry Birds computer game, said its earnings halved last year due to investments in its animation business and stalling sales.

After scoring a global breakthrough with Angry Birds, in which players use a slingshot to attack pigs who steal birds’ eggs, Rovio has expanded the brand into an animated TV series and merchandising of toys and clothing.

Apr 23, 2014

Stora Enso boss to resign after strong first quarter

HELSINKI, April 23 (Reuters) – Finnish pulp and paper maker
Stora Enso said CEO Jouko Karvinen, who has closed
mills and cut jobs to help the firm cope with a drop in demand,
would resign later this year.

Since taking the helm in 2007, Karvinen has been
restructuring Stora Enso to help it adjust to a decline in
demand for paper in Europe as consumers shift from magazines and
newspapers to online reading.

Apr 11, 2014

S&P cuts Finland’s rating outlook, cites political uncertainty

HELSINKI (Reuters) – Standard & Poor’s on Friday cut its outlook on Finland’s triple-A credit rating from stable to negative, citing persistent growth problems and political uncertainties.

The move pushed spreads between Finnish and benchmark German bonds out to their widest in two weeks.

Apr 8, 2014

Nokia wins Chinese approval for Microsoft deal

HELSINKI (Reuters) – Nokia has won approval from Chinese competition authorities to sell its mobile phone business to Microsoft Corp without having to change its main technology patent practices, it said on Tuesday.

The Finnish company agreed in September to sell its flagship business to Microsoft in a 5.4 billion euro ($7.4 billion) deal. However, it kept its patent portfolio, viewed by analysts as a promising source of future growth.

Apr 1, 2014

Finnish retailer Stockmann freezes Russia expansion over Crimea crisis

HELSINKI (Reuters) – Finnish retailer Stockmann is freezing plans to open more department stores in Russian cities due to the uncertainty caused by the Crimean crisis, the company’s chief executive said on Tuesday.

Hannu Penttila, who has headed the company since 2001, told Reuters in an interview that so far the biggest impact of the crisis for the retailer had been through the weaker rouble.

Apr 1, 2014

As Russia growls, Swedes, Finns eye defence options, NATO

STOCKHOLM/HELSINKI (Reuters) – When Russian warplanes staged a mock bombing run on Sweden last year, air defences were caught napping. It was the middle of the night and no Swedish planes were scrambled.

Instead, Danish jets belonging to NATO’s Baltic mission based in Lithuania, took to the air to shadow the Russians.

Mar 26, 2014

Builder YIT must look beyond Finland and Russia, says CEO

HELSINKI, March 26 (Reuters) – The chief executive of
Finnish construction group YIT, the biggest foreign
housebuilder in Russia, said the company must look elsewhere for
future growth to safeguard the company’s long-term stability.

Though YIT’s Kari Kauniskangas says the company’s Russian
sales have yet to be affected by the seizure of Crimea,
Finland’s close business ties with Russia mean that European
Union and U.S. sanctions against Moscow have a disproportionate
knock-on effect for the Nordic nation’s companies.

Mar 25, 2014

Left party to exit Finland’s government over budget cuts

HELSINKI (Reuters) – Finland’s Left Alliance will quit the government after opposing cuts to welfare spending in the budget, the party’s leader said on Tuesday, but the ruling coalition will retain a parliamentary majority.

The five other parties in the coalition government have accepted the budget and together have 112 seats in the 200-strong parliament. The Left Alliance holds 12 seats.

    • About Sakari

      "I am part of the Reuters team covering the European Central Bank. Before moving to Frankfurt in early 2009, I was based in Helsinki, where I wrote about the Finnish economy and paper industry."
      Joined Reuters:
      2006
      Languages:
      Finnish, English, German, Swedish
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