Sweden

The number of Swedish bankruptcies soared to the highest level in at least a decade in January, as construction companies come under pressure from an ongoing housing-market rout, Bloomberg News reported. The number of companies filing for bankruptcy increased by 47% from a year earlier in January, to 622, according to credit reference agency UC. The data highlights the effects of Sweden’s worst housing-price slump in three decades, which has contributed to a surge in defaults in the construction sector, with 130 builders filing for bankruptcy last month.
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Scandinavian airline SAS said on Friday that it had agreed with another two of its aircraft lessors to amend the terms of existing lease contracts as part of its cost cutting efforts, Reuters reported. Crisis-hit SAS, which has been under chapter 11 protection in the U.S. since last year, said in a statement it had now amended contracts with in total 15 lessors representing 59 aircraft. "With these agreements, SAS concludes its lessor negotiations as part of the chapter 11 process," it said.
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High energy prices and high inflation are hitting Sweden's businesses hard. With energy price subsidies for these consumers delayed, the government is now extending existing tax deferral schemes implemented during the pandemic to ease the pressure. Swedish Finance Minister Elisabeth Svantesson and Energy and Business Minister Ebba Busch announced the scheme on Dec. 29. “Many, many companies are now struggling with their liquidity,” Svantesson said.
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A dual citizen of Sweden and the United Kingdom pleaded guilty to U.S. fraud and money laundering charges on Friday for selling a fake cryptocurrency alongside one of the United States' most-wanted fugitives, a woman referred to as the 'Cryptoqueen,' Reuters reported. Karl Greenwood, 45, was arrested in Thailand and extradited to the United States in 2018 for his role in selling the purported cryptocurrency OneCoin, which federal prosecutors in Manhattan call a pyramid scheme that defrauded investors out of $4 billion. He has been detained since his arrest.
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Risks are piling on for Sweden’s commercial real estate sector as rising interest rates erode profitability and raise debt refinancing problems, the country’s financial supervisory authority said, Bloomberg News reported. As the Swedish central bank has responded to soaring inflation by rapidly raising interest rates, commercial property companies are facing rising costs and challenges in refinancing maturing debt.
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The funding crunch afflicting Sweden’s leveraged property sector intensified late on Wednesday after a privately owned landlord signaled it needed more time to repay bonds that fall due next year, Bloomberg News reported. In what may be among the first instances of real-estate worries spilling over to the country’s bond market, little-known property developer Sehlhall Holding AB turned to its creditors to amend terms on its debt.
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Bankruptcies for Swedish companies rose to their highest level since the start of the pandemic as prices are soaring and the country’s central bank is raising borrowing costs to quell inflation, Bloomberg News reported. In September, 635 companies in the largest Nordic nation went bankrupt -- the highest level since May 2020 --increasing by 38% from a year earlier, according to data from credit reference agency UC. The data adds to the gloomy picture for the Swedish economy that’s seen contracting the most in the Nordic region next year.
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Sweden's central bank raised interest rates on Tuesday by a larger-than-expected full percentage point to 1.75% and warned of more to come over the next six months as it sought to get to grips with surging inflation, Reuters reported. Inflation hit 9% - a 30-year high - in August as the effects of soaring energy prices spread through the economy, and has overshot the Riksbank's forecasts.
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SAS AB Chief Executive Officer Anko van der Werff said he’s confident the Scandinavian airline will emerge successfully from a chapter 11 restructuring after winning clearance for a $700 million financing package and seeing a rebound in its own performance, Bloomberg News reported. Approval for the Apollo Global Management funding from a US bankruptcy judge is “the biggest and most important news” for SAS and will be “vital” as it seeks to move forward with a new strategic plan, Der Werff said Thursday in an interview in Gothenburg, Sweden.
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Bankruptcy Judge Michael Wiles on Friday approved a $700 million financing package for SAS AB from Apollo Global Management, though he said features of the deal concern him, Bloomberg News reported. The financing, divided into two $350 million draws, will allow Apollo to convert the debt into stock in the bankrupt airline or participate in an equity raise tied to SAS’s eventual exit from chapter 11 protection under certain circumstances. Judge Wiles called the financing “unusual” and questioned whether it was legally viable.
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