SEB CEO warns economies globally “have caught a cold”

Annika Falkengren, group CEO of SEB, has said that the world’s economies have caught a mild but long lasting cold, but that Swedish companies remain strong.

She made the comments to DI Dimension, noting that while people remain wary of investing too much too soon, “Swedish companies have a lot of working capital, so it is more a question of them feeling confident to invest and grow.”

Instead, Falkengren identified the low interest rate environment as the biggest threat to companies and the stock market.

She also said she does not envisage larger bank industry M&A in Sweden, although the picture across Europe is different.

“In Europe I think we will see consolidation, absolutely. There are banks which cannot deal with the new regulatory regime. What most often triggers banking consolidations is that a particular bank is performing very badly, and that is not the case in the Swedish banking market currently.”

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