SOURCE: Invest in Sweden Agency

April 06, 2005 15:11 ET

$3.38 Billion in Foreign Investments Into Swedish Private Equity Funds in 2004 -- a 77% Increase

LOS ANGELES, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 6, 2005 -- Swedish private equity funds attracted $3.38 billion from foreign sources in 2004 -- a 77% increase from the previous year. This sharp increase in investments is based on the expectation of higher economic growth in Sweden for 2005. Including Swedish investors, the total amount invested in Swedish private equity funds increased from $2.6 billion in 2003 to $4.8 billion last year.

According to a report by Robert Huggins and Associates, Sweden's economy is forecast to be Europe's major success story leading up to 2010 with a 15% GDP increase. This assessment was based on a study that measured European knowledge-based sector activity such as employment, patents, research and development expenditure, and property rents to compile an index of GDP per capita across the continent.

"We have seen a strong upward trend from U.S. and other foreign countries towards increased investments into Sweden over the past year," said Göran Eriksson, Director, Los Angeles Office - Invest in Sweden Agency. "These investors are primarily attracted to Sweden's high economic growth potential, which is fueled by the country's commitment to technology and culture of innovation in IT, telecom, and life sciences."

Prominent U.S. Investors Include:

-- Citicorp North America          -- JP Morgan
-- General Electric Pension Fund   -- Massachusetts Institute of Technology
-- Harvard University              -- MetLife
-- Howard Hughes Foundation        -- Northwestern Mutual
-- HarbourVest Partners            -- Yale University
Tom Berggren, managing director of the Swedish Private Equity & Venture Capital Association, said: "These capital inflows are good for the Swedish economy. They promote growth, increase investment and provide employment." Berggren said that venture capital investors typically expect an annual return of 15 percent on their investments, compared to national average returns of 10 percent from stock market investments.

Sweden's Strong Investment & Pro-Business Advantages

--  The Nordic Countries Offer Europe's Best Economic Climate -- according
    to UK VC firm 3i. The report looked at how various companies in 3i's
    portfolio view the medium-term future in terms of economic and political
    factors in their respective countries. 3i, which owns more than 30
    companies across the Nordic region alone, found that optimism over current
    and future developments was comfortably higher among the Nordic states than
    in any other European country. In a special index, the Nordic bloc scored
    110, compared to 95 in second-placed Germany and 34 in third-placed France.
    
--  Favorable Capital Gains Legislation -- Sweden recently passed a law to
    abolish capital gains tax on the sale of subsidiary companies. This is
    attractive and beneficial to international investors interested in Sweden's
    multitude of innovative start-up companies.
    
--  Invest in Sweden Agency (ISA) Ranked #1 Worldwide -- the fourth annual
    IPA Performance Benchmark 2004 study measured 178 countries, regions and
    cities according to their speed and efficiency for handling inquiries, the
    quality and relevance of the information given, and how well inquiries were
    followed up. Also measured was the organizations ability to market,
    attract, and handle inquiries via the website and email.
    
--  Lisbon Scorecard Shows Sweden First in EU Economic Reform -- in the
    annual report by the London-based Center for European Reform. Countries'
    economic competitive was assessed using a range of indicators including
    labor productivity, educational attainment, R&D spending, comparative
    prices, business investment, and environmental standards.
    
--  Low Operational Costs -- Sweden's cost of electric power,
    telecommunication, and office space are among the lowest in the world for
    industrial nations. The twenty-eight percent business tax rate is one of
    the lowest in Europe -- significantly lower than the U.S. corporate tax.
    Salaries for advanced technical engineers is fairly low.
    
About Invest in Sweden Agency

Invest in Sweden Agency, headquartered in Stockholm, was established by the Swedish government to help attract and facilitate foreign direct investment in Sweden -- Europe's leading IT cluster and a world leader in wireless and mobile Internet. Sweden provides a strong industrial base, sophisticated multinational customers, active utilization of information technology in both the public and private sectors, an advanced infrastructure, and a highly skilled workforce.

ISA assists companies interested in locating manufacturing sites, research and development facilities, sales offices, and customer interaction centers in Sweden by providing free site selection information and other business related services. ISA has its U.S headquarters in New York with offices in Boston, Detroit, and Los Angeles. Worldwide offices include: London, Shanghai, Tokyo and most European and Asian cities. For more information, visit the agency's Web site at www.isa.se or call the LA office at (310) 204-6790 or the NY office at (212) 702-8780. Questions can be sent via email to isa@usa.isa.se.

Contact Information

  • Company Contact:
    Invest in Sweden Agency
    Anna Bredemeier
    Phone: 310-204-6790
    Email: anna.bredemeier@usa.isa.se

    Media Contact:
    TopSpin Communications, Inc.
    Joe Waldygo
    Phone: 480-632-5050
    Cell: 480-363-8774
    Email: joe@topspinpr.com