Business News in Brief: Danske Bank shares take a hit as laundered sum multiplies

In other news, while Lego and Carlsberg remain optimistic about the future, a Chinese smartphone is bringing a tidal wave of pain for the likes of Apple and Samsung

Danske Bank shares plunged 7 percent as 12 billion kroner was wiped off the value of the company in trading on Tuesday as news stoked fears that it will soon be hit by a substantial fine and leadership change.

On the same day, the Financial Times reported that 192 billion kroner was laundered through the Estonian branch of Danske Bank in a single year – nearly four times the previous amount (53 billion) suggested by Berlingske, and that covered a nine-year period from 2007-2015!

An incredible sum
“It’s an incredible sum for such a small bank branch. The amount of money cannot be processed without raising questions,’’ an anonymous source told the FT.

The laundered money is thought to have come from a wide range of parties, including several oligarchs and the Russian intelligence services.

Needs to be taken in context
According to Mikkel Emil Jensen, an equity analyst at Sydbank, the stock exchange fears Danske Bank will receive a significant fine, which will force chief executive Thomas Borgen to step down.

Danske Bank, which will release the results of its own in-house investigation later this month, told the FT that while the claims are being taken “very seriously’’, it is important to only consider “verified information, not fragments taken out of context’’.

Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi enters market with aggressive strategy
Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi will soon enter the Danish market with three phones aiming to compete with tech giants like Apple, Samsung and Huawei in the tightening technology market. The most expensive of the three phones, the MI Mix S2, will cost 4,499 kroner, 3,500 kroner less that Apple’s flagship iPhone X. It will aim to compete on price and high-quality design, philosophies echoed by the Shenzhen-based manufacture One Plus, which have made great strides into Western markets with its aggressive pricing and high-quality minimalist designs.

LEGO Group’s interim results showing effects of 2017 redundancies
The Lego Group remains optimistic despite a 5 percent dip in turnover for the first six months of 2018 from 14.9 billion to 14.3 billion kroner. Nevertheless, the toy manufacturer’s interim operating profit rose on last year, and it noted that the fall in turnover was in line with expectations following 1,400 redundancies in 2017, of which 600 were Danish. Following rapid growth between 2004 and 2017, Niels B Christiansen, the group CEO, commented that the organisation now wants to stabilise the business and create consistent long-term growth.

Danish eSports organisations reject 10 million kroner in state support
RFRSH and North, the two largest eSports organisations in Denmark, have declined 10 million kroner in support from the state, suggesting in a joint press release that the money should go to the industry as a whole, not individual players. Globally, the industry generates 700 million dollars a year.

Carlsberg’s adhesive packaging could save 1,200 tonnes of plastic annually
Carlsberg is dropping plastic wrapping for its six-packs after spending three years on the development of new adhesive material. With a goal of becoming more environmentally friendly, the new adhesive could save more than 150 tonnes of plastic a year in Demark, and 1,200 tonnes of plastic when introduced globally. Carlsberg is optimistic, having sold 16 million six-packs in the first half of 2018, that the new packaging will drive sales due among environmentally-minded consumers.