|On the road with Erik Goosen|
|Director Corporate Affairs|
Business Arena –The Nordic Real Estate Summit–
Stockholm, Sweden, 19 and 20 September 2007
September 21, 2007Business Arena in Stockholm has become the leading congress and meeting point for real estate investments and urban planning in the Nordics. Hundreds of delegates traveled to Stockholm, Sweden to get an update on the real estate business in the Nordics, meet old and new friends and do business in one of the most well-off regions of Europe.
Real Estate business is thriving all around the Baltic Sea (Denmark, Sweden, Finland, the Baltic States and Poland). All of them have encountered rich investments from outside the region. And although the peak may be off for some countries and Sweden had to adjust the gdp growth figures for 2007, it’s still a region of interest for foreign investors looking for a good return.
Johan Zetterstedt, MD of Fastighetsnytt
Förlags AB and founder of Business Arena
The first day, Wednesday September 19, of Business Arena, organized by Johan Zetterstedt, MD of Fastighetsnytt Förlags AB and founder of Business Arena, presented “Hot Topic Sessions” ranging from Sustainable development and trends in green building to Logistic properties in the Baltic region. In between sessions there was enough time to go around the small exhibition that presented a lot of well-known international real estate companies as well as big local real estate players looking for international attention.
Folke Rydén, Moderator.
Anders Wijkman, Member of the
Day two is reserved for the Nordic Real Estate Summit that is held in the big auditorium of the wonderful Clarion Hotel. The theme of the day was Sweden’s role in the Baltic Region-investment opportunities in a period of growth. Moderator Folke Rydén gave a brief overview of what he met during his tour around the Baltic sea followed by an inspiring presentation by Mr. Anders Wijkman, Member of the European Parliament (Christian Democrats), who gave an expose on climate changes in the past decades and what we can expect for the future. Like Al Gore he called for drastic moves to slow down climate change. “We have financial capital but we can not eat money and we are losing natural capital”.
F.L.T.R.: Mrs Cecilia Hermansson,
Mr Håkan Frisén, Mr Tomas Pousette.
The Swedish Economy 2007 – Outlook for 2008 was given by a panel of leading economists.
Mrs Cecilia Hermansson, Senior economist of Swedbank, was concerned about the continuation of the US mortgage crisis. This would also effect the Swedish economy as the US is Sweden’s third export market (8% of total export). But there are also good signs: the Swedish house prices have risen more than the US house prices and there is a good outlook for retail trade.
Mr Håkan Frisén, Head of Economic Research SEB, has seen the labor market improving. The new government is implementing tax cuts, the wages are increasing and inflation is low. The effect of this policy still has to proof itself. For now spending is staying behind in Sweden.
Mr Tomas Pousette, Chief Economist SBAB, thinks that there is a possibility of less than 50% for a recession in Sweden but this chance is rising. If US economy drops 1%, so does the Asian and the dollar loses more to 1$=1.55 than the European economy will suffer a decrease of 1.25%. This also counts for Sweden. He sees best investment returns for the environmental sector, better than investing in real estate.
Bengt Dennis, former Governor of the
Swedish Central Bank
Bengt Dennis, Consultant, advisor and former Governor of the Swedish Central Bank, gave a snapshot of the Baltic Region.
He sees GDP growth in the Baltic States but there is no sight on implementing the euro, inflation is high, wages have exploded and unemployment is down.
A serious cooling off of the economy is under way.
Poland is coming back, but here also the euro conversion is far off and the outcome of the election is uncertain as are its effects.
Sweden and Finland are both doing well.
F.L.T.R.: Mr Håkan Bryngelson,
Mr Kai Hammerich,
Mr Johan Staël von Holstein.
The panel on the Stockholm Region in terms of international competition were asked the good and bad points of Sweden.
Mr Kai Hammerich, Director-General of ISA sees the booming economy as a plus but the Swedes lack openness and Stockholm is still small internationally.
Mr Håkan Bryngelson, MD Vasakronan, thinks well of Stockholm: There are lots of internationally oriented students, Sweden is the best test market in Europe, there is a quick adaption to new products and a large environmental consciousness. Short comings are the slow political decision making process, level of higher education, the infrastructure and the lack of housing. But Stockholm is the perfect place to invest.
The solution is to brand Sweden better.
Mr Johan Staël von Holstein, MD IQube sees Stockholm as a creative city with little bureaucracy and well traveled and educated people. The problem is lack of international capital. There are few US investors in Sweden.
The big question: Will global capital continue to seek out properties? Was answered positively by the next panel.
Mr Simon Fisk, Managing Director Europe Hypo Real Estate Bank International AG warned about being careful not to talk ourselves into a recession: Hurricanes die very quickly when they hit land.”
And Mr. Jonas Sison Lindholm, General Manager Northern Europe Region Aareal Bank thinks that transparency is needed in order to know what the banks have as liabilities.
|Related companies, people, projects