The operator Telia has announced that it will increase landline rental charges for households by 24% per month, starting 19 September. Its basic landline package will increased from SEK 165 to SEK 205 a month.
The hike is said to be due to falling demand for copper landlines as consumers switch to mobile or fibre-optic solutions.
Only 32 of a total 362 politicians have declared shareholdings in listed companies, according to an excerpt from the Riksdag’s financial register. Joakim Bornold, from Nordnet, is surprised about the low figure.
H&M is the big favourite among those politicians who do hold shares. Sharing second place are SAS and the investment company Kinnevik. Furthermore a majority of shareholding politicians are alliance politicians while not a single Left Party politician holds shares.
Only one party leader, Jan Björklund has reported any holdings. The Liberal leader has invested in the bank SEB and in a Sweden fund.
Finance ministerial candidate Oscar Sjöstedt (SD) owns shares in the prospecting company Africa Oil, which Joakim Bornold considers to be controversial. “Africa Oil has, to say the least, a turbulent history and is a company that has been called into question a good deal, which means it is surprising that it turns up in a portfolio of this kind of politician.”
The total net interest for Sweden’s big four banks amounted to around SEK 30 billion for the second quarter – an increase of over one billion kronor since last year. The profits come mainly from mortgages.
“This is a completely unreasonable figure,” says Håkan Larsson, housing economist at the Swedish Homeowners Association. Håkan Larsson says that the development is due to the low repo rate, which has meant there is a huge difference between the interest banks themselves pay and what they offer mortgage customers.
During the same period mortgages have grown in importance for banks. For Swedbank and Handelsbanken, the mortgage share of the group rocketed from 25% in 2010 to 49% and 42% respectively in 2015.
Håkan Larsson points out that the four big banks have very similar interest rates for mortgage customers, calling it a price-fixing cartel. He believes politicians ought to act and the state SBAB bank ought to lead the way by bringing down interest rates.
Two thirds of Sweden’s traders believe they will stop accepting cash by 2030, according to a new, as yet unpublished, report from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH).
Niklas Arvidsson, lecturer in industrial dynamics at KTH, is one of the authors and predicts that Sweden will be a cashless society by 2030. “It is moving very quickly just now.”
According to the Swedish Trade Federation, 80% of all transactions in retail are currently made by card, and this is increasing constantly.
The Dane Henrik Poulsen is taking over as deputy chair of the board in Kinnevik after former Finance Minister Anders Borg’s hasty exit. Henrik Poulsen is CEO of Dong Energy and is being pointed out as a future name within the Kinnevik sphere.
On Saturday Anders Borg left the investment company’s board after media attention concerning his behaviour at a party last weekend.
Dagens Industri (DI) also reports that Anders Borg is leaving another prestigious post – that of senior advisor at banker Citi. “We have come to this conclusion together. I believe it is the best for everybody in the current situation,” says Eirik Winter, CEO for Citi’s Nordic investment bank.
Intrum Justitia’s board, the banks and short sellers are the only ones to have gained from the debt collection company’s merger with Lindorf, reports Dagens Industri (DI). The board’s fees have been raised by 20% while shareholders have seen the value of their holdings fall by as much in the past ten weeks.
In order to meet EU regulation, Intrum Justitia is having to divest a number of units. “It’s a buyer’s market – everyone knows that Intrum has just six months in which to sell the units. And they have paid excessive fees to their advisors, while short sellers love the share,” say experts to the business daily.
The board of Swedish brake systems manufacturer Haldex said on Wednesday that it would not support a bid from Germany’s Knorr-Bremse, regardless of the outcome of a shareholders meeting on 17 August.
The German company is proposing that the extra meeting instruct the Haldex board to recommend that the Swedish Securities Council approve an extension of the acceptance period for the bid.
Haldex does not believe in a further extension, however, saying the competition authorities are unlikely to approve the deal.
Haldex has said an extension would cause the company material harm, and has identified eight instances in which it has been unable to sign long-term contracts with customers as a result of the lengthy bidding process.
There has been a 6% rise in company liquidations so far this year, according to business and credit reference agency UC. The hotel and restaurant industry has been particularly badly hit, and in July the sector saw a 19% increase in liquidations in relation to July 2016.
Eva Östling, CEO of Visita, the employer organisation representing enterprises in the Swedish hospitality sector, is not surprised. On 1 July 2016 the government scrapped the subsidy on payroll charges in the sector, raising the rate to 31.42%. Östling believes the industry is now feeling the full impact of the three-fold increase in the charge.
Östling points out that the industry should be enjoying a boom given the summer months and the strong economy, and expresses concern over the impact a recession will have on the sector, when people spend less on eating and drinking out.
Swedish mortgage lending growth has stabilised at around 7-8 per cent, while consumer lending growth has risen considerably in recent months. In June consumer lending rose to 9.4 per cent at an annual rate, the highest figure recorded since 2008.
Economists are concerned by the trend, warning that unsecured loans could lie behind the growth.