The economy of Sweden: a rough road leads to the stars
In the 19th century, the economy of Sweden evolved from agriculture to industry, transforming Sweden into an urbanised nation. By the 1930s, the country had one of the highest standards of living worldwide. During both world wars, Sweden took a neutral position, benefiting from subsequent post-war booms.
Unfortunately, prosperity wasn’t long-lasting. In the 1980s, the economy of Sweden suffered from high inflation and low growth, with the Swedish krona repeatedly devalued. These problems led to an economic crisis in the early 1990s. Banks became unstable, the national debt soared and unemployment rose sharply. It seemed like nothing could save the drowning country.
However, in the late 1990s, the government eventually managed to overcome the troubles following inventive and courageous reforms, and the crisis drew to a close. The country has transformed its economy, paving the way for robust growth in the face of global economic haziness. Ever since then, Sweden's economy has grown to become one of the most competitive in the world, with low inflation and strong GDP growth prospects.
Today, Sweden can boast of its developed export-oriented economy, featuring a modern distribution system, superior internal and external communications and a highly skilled labour force. The main industries include industrial machines, motor vehicles, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, chemical goods, home goods and appliances, forestry and precision equipment.
In addition to maintaining competitiveness in manufacturing, growth in modern service sectors, such as information and communications technology, has been strong in the past decades. The country is known for producing a number of tech unicorns, including video call platform Skype, fintech company Klarna, music streaming service Spotify and video game developers King and Mojang.
Sweden has achieved a high standard of living, with its GDP per capita among the highest in the EU.
International investors and traders are interested in Sweden for numerous reasons. The country is a global leader in innovation with a stable economy, smooth business procedures, openness to international investments, a highly skilled labour force and sophisticated consumers.
According to Bloomberg’s Innovation Index, Sweden is ranked second, following South Korea in terms of innovation. The country has made great progress in encouraging the uptake of the latest digital technologies to enhance productivity and innovation.
What is Nasdaq Nordic?
Nasdaq Nordic is a part of Nasdaq, Inc. subsidiaries, providing financial services and operating marketplaces for securities in the Nordic, Caucasian and Baltic regions of Europe.
Historically, the operations have been held by the company OMX AB, which was created in 2004 upon a merger between OM AB and Helsinki Stock Exchange. This acquisition included the Baltic stock exchanges in Riga, Vilnius and Tallinn. OM AB was a futures exchange founded in the 1980s to introduce trading in standardised option contracts in Sweden, which later acquired the Stockholm Stock Exchange in 1998.
In 2005, OMX acquired the Copenhagen Stock Exchange for over €164 million, followed by the Iceland Stock Exchange acquisition in 2006. The next year, OMX successfully acquired the Armenian Stock Exchange and Central Depository.
In 2006, OMX launched the OMX Nordic 40, a pan-regional capitalisation-weighted index that consists of the 40 most-traded shares from the four stock markets, including Stockholm, Reykjavík, Helsinki and Copenhagen.
In 2008, Nasdaq bought OMX for $3.7 billion. The newly merged company was called the Nasdaq OMX Group and was later renamed to Nasdaq AB.
Currently, the company operates eight large European stock exchanges as well as runs the First North, an alternative stock exchange for smaller companies in Europe. Nasdaq Nordic also owns OMX Technology, which develops and markets systems for financial transactions used internationally.
The Stockholm Stock Exchange: everything you need to know
Nasdaq Stockholm, also known as the Stockholm Stock Exchange or Stockholmsbörsen in Swedish, is a large stock exchange located in the capital of Sweden. Ever since its establishment in 1853, it has become the primary securities exchange of the Nordic countries.
The Stortorget square in Stockholm had long served as a marketplace for trading services and goods. In the 1760s, it was decided that a stock exchange should be built in the city. To finance construction, a tax was levied on all luxury goods imported into Sweden, and the exchange building was finally completed in 1778.