Sweden

However bad a spiralling money laundering scandal has been to the three Baltic countries, it could get even worse. Financial regulators in Estonia and Latvia told the Financial Times they were afraid Swedish banks — which dominate both headlines on money laundering and their banking systems — could withdraw from the region, just as Danske Bank and Nordea have already done amid dirty money allegations, the Financial Times reported. “Sure, we are very worried,” said Peters Putnins, head of the Latvian regulator.

Read more

Residential skyscrapers are rare in Stockholm, a city permeated by five-story, classic stone buildings built at the turn of the last century. That’s now changing, Bloomberg News reported. The most spectacular addition to the skyline is nearing completion: A 125-meter, brutalist structure that could be mistaken for a tower of Lego blocks. Innovationen offers panorama windows and balconies overlooking the red, yellow and orange facades of the Vasastan neighborhood.

Read more

Scandinavians are taking a hard look at their institutions as allegations of systematic money laundering rock the entire region, Bloomberg News reported. With Swedbank AB becoming the latest lender to get dragged into a dirty money scandal that’s already engulfed Danske Bank A/S, those at the top of Sweden’s financial establishment are speaking out. Hans Lindblad, the director general of the Swedish National Debt Office, says the financial industry now risks losing the trust of the people. He says the consequences of that would be dire for the whole economy.

Read more

Reliance Communications has deposited $18.6m at India’s supreme court in a “partial payment” to creditor Ericsson, which is pushing to have its chairman Anil Ambani imprisoned for alleged contempt of court, the Financial Times reported. Last week, the Swedish group filed a petition with India’s supreme court, accusing RCom of breaching a court order to pay $79m in unpaid dues. It alleged that the telecom company had “illegally pocketed” the proceeds of asset sales, instead of transferring funds to creditors.

Read more

Swedish group Ericsson has asked India’s top court to send tycoon Anil Ambani to prison, after his troubled Reliance Communications allegedly breached a court order to pay $79m in unpaid dues, the Financial Times reported. RCom, once India’s most valuable telecom company, has been fighting to stave off bankruptcy for more than a year, after suffering a heavy loss of market share. Ericsson had originally claimed Rs11bn ($158m) in unpaid fees for outsourced management services, and launched insolvency proceedings against RCom last year.

Read more

With sterling debt investors shaken by the growing strain on the UK high street, British bed seller Dreams is turning to an unusual source of funding: Sweden. Owner Sun Capital Partners this week began marketing a €175m high-yield bond under Swedish law to fund a “dividend recapitalisation” of Dreams, a term for when private equity groups layer debt on a company to take money out for themselves, the Financial Times reported. The Florida-based firm bought the bed retailer out of administration five years ago and unsuccessfully sought to sell the business last year.

Read more
Nasdaq's Nordic commodities exchange has reached agreement on the sale of assets belonging to a private trader who defaulted on his commitments last week, it said on Friday, the International New York Times reported on a Reuters story. Einar Aas, a Norwegian derivatives trader who made large bets on the power market, left a 114 million euro ($134 million) hole in Nasdaq's Nordic clearing house buffers when his funds ran out. Within just two working days of the default, members of the exchange, and Nasdaq itself, were forced to replenish the funds in order to continue trading.
Read more
Sweden’s financial regulator on Friday vowed to investigate how a Nordic power trader that this week racked up huge losses and barred by Nasdaq Inc. was able to act as his own clearer, or guarantor of trades, Bloomberg News reported. “This is a question that Nasdaq Clearing has to answer,” Daniel Gedeon, director of financial markets infrastructure supervision at the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority, said by email.
Read more
Europe’s biggest debt collector says an increase in volumes in Sweden and Norway could be an early indication that households are starting to struggle paying off their consumer loans after debt burdens swelled to records, Bloomberg News reported. Volumes under Intrum AB’s existing credit-management services contracts in the two countries, in which it collects money from non-paying clients of financial institutions, grew by more than 15 percent in the first half of the year.
Read more
The property market has fallen a little closer to Earth: prices dropped by 9% between September and January, largely because of a surfeit of pricey new flats. They then steadied, and are around 5% below the peak—and 50% higher than at the start of 2013, calculates Valueguard, a data provider. As Swedes have borrowed to buy, their debts have risen, The Economist reported. Finansinspektionen (FI), the financial-stability supervisor, estimates that borrowers’ debts rose by 36% between 2012 and 2017, while disposable incomes went up by 13%.
Read more