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Aug 23, 2014

Swedish government cuts growth forecast, says to raise more taxes if re-elected

HARPSUND Sweden (Reuters) – Sweden’s centre-right government on Saturday delivered a gloomy message to voters ahead of a Sept. 14 general election, cutting its growth forecast due to lingering weakness in the global economy and saying it will raise taxes further if re-elected.

Sweden’s economy contracted slightly in the first quarter and barely grew in the April-June period as its key export sector was hurt by sluggish overseas demand, particularly from Europe.

Aug 20, 2014

Sweden warns of rising immigration costs as election nears

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Sweden will not “shut the door” on record numbers of asylum seekers but they pose a growing financial burden, the country’s finance minister said, in comments that underscore voters’ concerns on immigration ahead of next month’s general election.

Open debate about the fiscal costs of immigration is new among liberal Sweden’s mainstream political parties, but opinion polls show support for the Sweden Democrats, who want to sharply cut the number of asylum seekers, has risen to 10 percent.

Jul 16, 2014

Swedish central bank sees room for new rate cut if inflation lags-minutes

STOCKHOLM, July 16 (Reuters) – sThe majority of Swedish
rate-setters are firmly focused on weak inflation, leaving room
for another rate cut if prices fail to rise as expected, minutes
of the most recent policy meeting showed on Wednesday.

The Swedish economy bounced back quicker than the rest of
Europe after the financial crisis, but sluggish demand abroad
and a strengthening currency have held back growth, and prices
have stood still for much of the last year.

Jun 10, 2014

Rebuffing Cameron, Merkel sticks to Juncker for top EU job

HARPSUND Sweden (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel reaffirmed her support on Tuesday for Jean-Claude Juncker becoming the next president of the European Commission after meeting EU leaders critical of the Luxembourger.

Merkel made her statement after talks in Sweden hosted by Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and also attended by British Prime Minister David Cameron and Dutch premier Mark Rutte.

May 27, 2014

Iceland says defunct banks could be made bankrupt unless creditors take haircut

STOCKHOLM, May 27 (Reuters) – Iceland’s defunct banks could
be put into bankruptcy if creditors do not agree to a haircut on
debts owed by Kaupthing, Glitnir and Landsbanki, which collapsed
in 2008 owing more than $75 billion, the finance minister warned
on Tuesday.

Iceland slapped on capital controls after the financial
meltdown, hampering much needed investment, but these cannot be
removed until a deal to wind up the left-overs of the old banks
- around 2,500 billion krona ($22 billion) in cash, shares and
bonds – is reached with creditors.

May 22, 2014

Iceland central bank won’t risk financial stability with quick fix on collapsed banks

STOCKHOLM, May 22 (Reuters) – Iceland’s central bank will
not be rushed into approving a deal between creditors of failed
lender Landsbanki and state-owned Landsbankinn which is seen as
a key step to removing capital controls, Governor Mar
Gudmundsson said on Thursday.

Iceland’s three major banks collapsed in 2008 and, more than
five years’ later, outstanding creditors’ claims still total
7,530 billion Iceland krona ($66.8 billion), dwarfing Iceland’s
2013 GDP of 1,786 billion krona ($15.85 billion).

May 8, 2014

Swedish PM warns of nationalist surge as EU elections loom

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Europe’s failure to deliver economic growth and jobs has frayed public trust in democracy and fostered a nationalist climate that could reward anti-immigration, Eurosceptical parties in May’s EU elections, Sweden’s prime minister said on Thursday.

Fredrik Reinfeldt also saw nationalism shaping Russia’s actions in Ukraine, which he said was creating “instability”, but despite such concerns he said Sweden was unlikely to abandon its formal neutrality and join NATO any time soon.

May 8, 2014

Airline SAS trims outlook due to tougher competition

STOCKHOLM, May 8 (Reuters) – Airline SAS trimmed
its full-year profit forecast on Thursday, estimating
competition in its home Scandinavian markets would push down
yields and cut around 1 billion Swedish crowns ($154 million)
from pretax earnings in the current year.

Its shares were down 4.4 percent at 12.95 crowns at 0719 GMT
against a small rise in the wider Stockholm index. The
stock fell as low as 12.70 crowns, its lowest in about eight
months.

May 7, 2014

Sweden Social Democrats will end tax cuts if they win election

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Sweden’s Social Democrats, once known for charging some of the world’s highest taxes, will reverse the country’s recent decline in taxes – but not by too much – if they win the general election in September.

Opposition leader Stefan Lofven, head of the party that molded Sweden’s famed cradle to grave welfare state, said he had no target for tax rises but Sweden now needed more funds to invest in social policies after years of cutting back taxes.

Apr 25, 2014

Electrolux shares soar as long-awaited European demand returns

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Electrolux, the world’s second-biggest home appliances maker, said on Friday its European markets were finally growing again and that a recovery in the United States would continue, sending its shares up nearly 10 percent.

Electrolux, a smaller rival to America’s Whirlpool (WHR.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), delighted investors who have watched it suffer from weak economies and currencies in Europe and Brazil that cost cuts and improvement in the North American market could not offset.