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Apr 7, 2014

Sweden’s Kinnevik names ex-Goldman banker Grabau as CEO

STOCKHOLM, April 7 (Reuters) – Swedish investment firm
Kinnevik said on Monday it had picked board member
and former Goldman Sachs banker Lorenzo Grabau as chief
executive, as the company deepens its push into technology and
e-commerce.

Founded in 1936, Kinnevik is one of the largest listed
investment companies in Europe, having transformed itself from
an industrial concern into a telecoms and media group and in
recent years expanded into online services.

Apr 4, 2014

Private equity shies away from Swedish public services

STOCKHOLM, April 4 (Reuters) – Private equity firms have
slashed new investment in public service provision in Sweden
after successive scandals led to calls for more state control,
raising questions over who will meet the growing cost of
supporting an ageing population.

Media reports that a resident of a privately-run home for
the elderly was denied medical care after a fall, and the
bankruptcy of an education provider that left 11,000 pupils
without a school, have left many Swedes uneasy with the idea of
private companies providing vital public services.

Mar 24, 2014

Private equity-led group buys Nordic payments firm Nets for $3.1 billion

COPENHAGEN/STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – A consortium led by two U.S. private equity firms agreed on Monday to buy payment services company Nets Holding from a group of Nordic banks for 17 billion Danish crowns ($3.14 billion).

Payment firms face a host of challenges from a shift in transactions from credit and debit cards to online and mobile payments, increased scrutiny from regulators and the need for huge IT investment to secure data from prying eyes.

Mar 5, 2014

SEK, NOK seen making modest gains versus euro over coming year

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – The Norwegian and Swedish crowns will gain against the euro over the coming year on stronger economic fundamentals but will ease against the dollar, a Reuters poll showed on Wednesday.

Both Nordic countries have outpaced the euro zone in recent years, though slowing growth through much of 2013 has driven the Norwegian and Swedish crowns lower against the single currency.

Feb 17, 2014

Shunning creditors, Iceland goes it alone as economy rebounds

REYKJAVIK/STOCKHOLM, Feb 17 (Reuters) – Iceland’s government
feels it can shun international investors while enjoying
economic growth – witness its dismissive response to a $5
billion lawsuit over Icesave debts and a tough stance on paying
bond creditors.

The centre-right administration, elected last year, has
turned its back on talks to join the European Union, largely
opting to go it alone in rebuilding an economy shattered by a
banking collapse.

Feb 11, 2014

Iceland PM dismisses new lawsuit, optimistic on creditor talks

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Iceland’s prime minister has dismissed the chances of British and Dutch savers receiving much from a new $4.85 billion lawsuit seeking compensation from money lost in Icesave funds during the island’s economic crisis in 2008.

But Sigmundur Gunnlaugsson said he was optimistic about a wider solution to a standoff between creditors of Iceland’s failed banks and the government over an estimated $3.4 billion worth of assets.

Feb 10, 2014

Copenhagen Zoo staff get death threats after giraffe killing

COPENHAGEN (Reuters) – Copenhagen Zoo’s scientific director and other staff have received death threats after a healthy giraffe was killed to avoid inbreeding among the long-necked beasts there, the zoo said on Monday.

But director Bengt Holst said it was the right decision and he would be ready to do the same with another animal if needed.

Feb 4, 2014

Loss-making Vattenfall says not in talks over Europe unit sale

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Power company Vattenfall VATN.UL dismissed speculation that it was in talks to sell its struggling European assets after huge writedowns pushed it into a full year loss and stopped it paying a dividend to its owner, the Swedish state, for the first time.

Scandinavia’s biggest utility is retrenching after betting roughly 22 billion euros ($30 billion) on a 15-year expansion drive in nuclear, coal and gas power generation only to be hit by the economic downturn and a German renewable energy drive.

Jan 30, 2014

Ericsson looks to Europe and China for growth

STOCKHOLM, Jan 30 (Reuters) – A completion of large projects
in the United States weighed on Ericsson’s earnings
in the fourth quarter, but the world’s biggest maker of mobile
networks said demand was picking up in Europe and China.

Ericsson shares rose 3 percent as the company reported
improving underlying profitability and looked ahead to strong
investment this year in 4G LTE networks that can cope with
increasing data traffic from smartphones and tablets.

Jan 28, 2014

IKEA sees consumer recovery worldwide, posts record profit

STOCKHOLM, Jan 28 (Reuters) – World No. 1 furniture maker
IKEA Group said it saw signs that consumer spending was starting
to recover in many of its markets and posted record full year
profits on Tuesday.

Retailers have been struggling particularly in Europe, where
IKEA generates nearly 70 percent of its sales, as the global
economic downturn and austerity measures, mostly in euro zone
countries, hurts consumer sentiment and spending power.