Business News in Brief: Denmark is the world champion of public digitalisation

Elsewhere, Magasin for sale, Denmark has a new wealthiest person and SAS expects more cancellations

According to the biennial UN E-Government Development Index (EGDI), no country performs better that Denmark when it comes to public digitalisation.

The report (here in English) ranked Denmark first with a score of 0.9150 – based on a score of 1.0 for Online Service, a score of 0.9472 for Human Capital and 0.7978 for Telecommunications Infrastructure.

“Denmark’s top placement is fully deserved. I’m really pleased that the many years of working hard to digitalise the public sector to make it more accessible for citizens and companies is now bearing fruit,” said the innovation minister, Sophie Løhde.

The UN has published the index since 2001 and it’s the first time that Denmark finishes first out of the 193 membership countries. The Danes were ranked ninth in the 2016.

READ MORE: Denmark strengthens its ties with World Bank to promote digital development

African struggles
Australia came in second on the index, followed by South Korea, the UK and Sweden. Finland, Singapore, New Zealand, France and Japan rounded up the top 10.

Other notables included the US (11), Germany (12), Norway (14), Iceland (19), Ireland (22), Canada (23), Russia (32), Brazil (44), Mexico (64), China (65), South Africa (68), India (96) and Nigeria (143).

Somalia was ranked rock bottom, just ahead of Niger, Equatorial Guinea and Chad.

New richest Dane
According to Bloomberg Billionaire Index, Niels Louis-Hansen is the new wealthiest Dane, with a fortune of 44.4 billion kroner. Louis-Hansen, whose father founded pharmaceutical giant Coloplast, usurped long-time leader Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen from the top perch after the Lego kingpin dropped to third following his decision to transfer parts of his wealth to his three children. Hansen was ranked 233rd overall in the world, followed closely by the founder of Bestseller, Troels Holch Povlsen (239th), and Kristiansen (338th). Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, finished top of the world rankings with a fortune of 174 billion US dollars, followed by Microsoft founder Bill Gates and investment mogul Warren Buffet.

Magasin du Nord for sale
The British retailing giant Debenhams is considering a sale of its noted Danish shopping centre chain Magasin du Nord. According to the Guardian newspaper, Debenhams expects to be able to offload Magasin’s six shopping centres for just over 2 billion kroner. Debenhams paid just 100 million kroner for Magasin, which had a profit of 172 million kroner in its most recent financial result, back in 2009. Debenhams has experienced dwindling profits in 2018 and its shares have fallen by 70 percent recently.

Drought with drastic measures
The ongoing drought in Denmark has developed into quite the nightmare for Denmark’s farmers as a poor harvest is expected to sink many into the mire of bankruptcy. This year’s harvest is expected to be the worst in decades, with the farmer-owned co-operative company DLG reporting that the situation is not only critical, but will have consequences for 2019 as well. According to a report from the University of Copenhagen in June, the drought is expected to lead to losses of more than 6 billion kroner for the Danish agriculture sector.

SAS cancellations to continue
The Scandinavian airline SAS has had its commendable punctuality record tarnished this summer thanks to a spike in cancellations. Over 700 flights have been cancelled over the past few months and the embattled airline expects the issue to persist for at least another couple of weeks. Some 40 flights have already been cancelled so far this week and the airline has cited personnel shortages as the principal reason behind the problems.