Denmark

Denmark’s status as one of the world’s least corrupt nations is being challenged by allegations that its biggest bank, Danske Bank A/S, was a central pipeline for channeling billions in illegal funds across Europe from Russia, Moldova and Azerbaijan, Bloomberg News reported. An internal bank report is expected on Sept. 19 to detail just what happened. The biggest money-laundering scandal in modern Danish history won’t end there.
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Farmers' cooperative Arla Foods, one of the world's biggest dairy firms, plans to pay out its entire 2018 net profit of up to 310 million euros (278.48 million pounds) to its members after one of the hottest and driest summers on record. The firm, owned by 11,200 farmers in Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Britain, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Belgium, traditionally pays only a part of its profit to owners, but said it would make an exception this year due to the drought, the International New York Times reported on a Reuters story.
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Losses for already hard-pressed Danish farmers are likely to be bigger than previously expected, an industry lobby group said on Wednesday, warning this could trigger more bankruptcies. Denmark, like many other countries in Europe, has been hit by one of the hottest summers on record, which has damaged crops and hit farmers’ income, Reuters reported. The drought, combined with low pork prices, is expected to trigger losses in the Danish agricultural sector not seen since the 2008 financial crisis.
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The financial industries of Sweden and Denmark were quick to criticize the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision’s completed framework on Thursday, arguing it will hit Scandinavian lenders too hard, Bloomberg News reported. “The Basel standards will, if they are fully implemented in the EU and Sweden, have large negative effects for Swedish banks, their clients and the Swedish economy,” Hans Lindberg, the head of the Swedish Bankers’ Association, said in a statement on Thursday.
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A group of 24 Danish institutional investors in OW Bunker said on Tuesday it would sue Carnegie Investment Bank and Morgan Stanley, accusing both of misleading them about the 2014 listing of the now bankrupt marine fuel oil supplier, Reuters reported. The investors, including two of Denmark’s largest pension funds, ATP and PFA, say they lost 767 million crowns ($123 million) after buying OW Bunker shares “on the basis of a prospectus which was insufficient in material aspects”.
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Lego suffered its worst financial performance in more than a decade, forcing the Danish toymaker to declare it would overhaul its entire organisation and cut 1,400 jobs. Coming on top of the unexpected ousting of its chief executive last month, the news suggests Lego is facing its biggest test since it came close to financial collapse in 2003-04, the Financial Times reported. Revenues fell 5 per cent in the first half of the year to DKr14.9bn ($2.4bn), their first decline since 2004.
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A group of institutional investors in OW Bunker said they plan to sue Morgan Stanley and Carnegie for about $80 million, accusing the two investment banks of misleading them ahead of the 2014 listing of the now bankrupt marine fuel oil supplier, Reuters reported. Denmark’s OW Bunker was valued at $1 billion when it floated in March 2014, but the company filed for bankruptcy in November that year after suffering hedging losses of almost $300 million, sending shockwaves through the global shipping and oil trading industry.
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Container shipping groups will continue to do deals, leaving only five or six survivors in an industry that two years ago had 20 players, according to the chief executive of AP Moller-Maersk, the sector’s dominant company. Soren Skou told the Financial Times that the consolidation trend in the past 24 months that has seen eight of the top 20 container shipping groups be acquired or go bankrupt would continue, the Financial Times reported. “My prediction would be that the industry would consolidate further. A decade from now, we would be more in the five to six range,” he said.
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Denmark registered a surge in inflation in July, driven by a sharp rise in the cost of food, drink, restaurants and hotels, pushing the country’s consumer price index above its eurozone’s peers, the Financial Times reported. The leap from 0.4 per cent to 1.5 per cent in year-on-year inflation makes this the highest rate since December 2012 in a country where price rises have long been subdued with the help of its currency peg. Denmark’s central bank targets inflation at close to but below 2 per cent.
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Denmark's state prosecutor charged the former manager of OW Bunker's Singapore subsidiary with fraud on Thursday but cleared the Danish management of the failed marine fuel oil supplier of any criminal wrongdoing. OW Bunker filed for bankruptcy in Denmark in November 2014 after losses at its Singapore business Dynamic Oil Trading, a marked change of fortunes for a firm valued at $1 billion when it listed in March that year, Reuters reported.
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