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Uniti Files for Insolvency

Swedish electric car start-up Uniti has filed for insolvency as the company announced on LinkedIn that it had not been able to raise enough capital, Electrive.com reported. Uniti had already warned of possible insolvency in December 2021. These financing problems for Uniti have been dragging on for some time. The warning in December was triggered by the fact that a bridging loan promised for the end of November did not materialise. At the time, it was said that if 500,000 euros could not be raised within a week, insolvency would have to be declared.
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Pressure is piling up on Riksbank Governor Stefan Ingves to unwind the central bank’s ultra-loose policy as Sweden’s tight labor market and rising energy prices starts to translate into broader inflation, Bloomberg News reported. The Nordic nation has recovered briskly from the pandemic and its economy is showing signs of overheating, prompting critics within the bank as well as externally to push for withdrawing stimulus.
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Sweden will phase out the majority of its current pandemic support measures, with the decision coinciding with a lifting of most restrictions from Wednesday, Bloomberg News reported. The support measures to companies will stay in place through February, Finance Minister Mikael Damberg told a news conference in Stockholm on Tuesday. “Now is the time for normality and not least a more normal budget process,” he said. The biggest Nordic nation became an outlier at the start of the pandemic due to its relatively hands-off Covid strategy.
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Sweden will extend its current pandemic measures by another two weeks, the minister for health said on Wednesday, as the Omicron variant is spreading at record speed, Reuters reported. The curbs mean bars and restaurants have to close at 2300 and there is a cap of 500 people inside larger indoor venues. "We have an extremely high level of spread," Health Minister Lena Hallengren told a news conference. "The restrictions must remain in place for two weeks.
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Sweden’s Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson, the frontrunner to replace the outgoing prime minister, said a robust economic recovery leaves room for an expansionary budget in the upcoming election year, Bloomberg News reported. The Harvard-educated Andersson could become the first woman leader in the largest Nordic economy that’s coped with the pandemic much better than most rich peers, helped by robust state finances. Yet she would face a fragmented political system where agreements on changes needed to keep the welfare state afloat are increasingly difficult.
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Sweden’s government refused to back down after the left-wing opposition threatened to try to unseat Prime Minister Stefan Lofven over plans to deregulate the country’s rental housing market, Bloomberg News reported. Minister for Justice Morgan Johansson said the Cabinet will continue to prepare a formal bill, after the Left Party demanded it to drop the intention to allow landlords charge market rates for new rental apartments. The government expects to come back with a final proposal late this fall, Johansson said.
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Sweden’s banks are gearing up for a fresh fight with their government to try to block a proposal that singles out the financial industry for an extra tax, Bloomberg News reported. The Social Democrat-Green coalition government has long made clear it intends to impose a levy on banks, which it argues represent a bigger risk to economic stability than most other industries.
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Sweden’s economy is poised for a sharper rebound than the government previously expected as its manufacturers make a strong comeback, Bloomberg News reported. Gross domestic product will grow 3.2% this year, compared with the 3% predicted in December, Finance Minister Magdalena Andersson told reporters in Stockholm on Monday. Next year, the expansion is seen at 3.8%, up from the previous forecast of 3.7%.
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Investors are starting to worry that the Riksbank’s purchases of covered bonds are fanning a housing market that’s already red hot, Bloomberg News reported. Owen Winrow, who helps manage 195 billion kronor ($24 billion) at Afa Forsakring, says his concern is that “with a housing market on fire,” the Riksbank “might be playing a dangerous game.” Winrow also notes that the Riksbank has probably reached the limit of what it can do with its quantitative easing program for government bonds, “so there isn’t too much choice, I guess, than buying covered” bonds, he said.

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Sweden’s Handelsbanken reported a fall in quarterly net earnings on Wednesday due to restructuring costs, though the bank’s loan portfolio continued to weather the impact of the coronavirus pandemic with ease, Reuters reported. Handelsbanken said in its report that results had been impacted by a provision for a restructuring reserve of 1.47 billion crowns referring to the branch closure and IT investment programme the bank unveiled in September.

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