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In a previous article, I discussed the fact that the oldest 'modern day' widely traded stock certificate, Dutch Vereinigte Oostindische Compaignie, is from the Netherlands. However, the oldest known [post cuneiform] share certificate is from the Swedish mining company, Stora Kopparberg, dated 1288. You can see a picture of the Stora stock certificate at the Augustana College website, although it's an upside down picture!

The company is still in business, and now is known as Stora Enso, a pulp and paper manufacturing business currently based in Finland.

Sweden is known for a lot more than issuing the oldest stock certificate:

  • Sweden is the third largest country in Western Europe in terms of area.
  • It's a major exporter of iron, copper and timber.
  • It has a significant amount of water power for electrical generation.
  • The country's engineering sector accounts for 50% of exports.
  • It has an inflation target of 2%.
  • It has the oldest central bank in the world, the Riksbank, which was founded in 1668.
  • It's the first country in the world to open an embassy in the virtual world Second Life.
  • It is number one on The Economist Magazine's Intelligence Unit's democracy index.
  • Here is a list of Swedish stocks which trade in the United States:

    Volvo AB (VOLV),manufactures trucks, buses, and construction equipment. The stock has a P/E of 17.7, and a PEG of 9.66. It also pays a yield of 3.5%.

    Atlas Copco AB Series A (OTCPK:ATLKY), makes and sells industrial tools, and equipment. For the quarter ending March 31, the company achieved 24% organic order growth, and had its 20th consecutive quarter with organic growth. Its profits from continuing operations increased 21%.

    Billerud AB (OTC:BLRDF) , manufactures and markets paper. Its operating income increased by 177% over the same quarter last year. Its profit per share also went up by 19%.

    Diamyd Medical ADR (OTC:DMYDY), develops treatments for diabetes, and its complications. Its loss per share for the nine month period before dilution was US$0.60 versus US$0.40, for the same period of the previous fiscal year.

    A B Electrolux S ADR (OTCPK:ELUXY), makes and markets home, and professional appliances. Its net sales for continuing operations increased by 1.5%, while its operating income rose by 26.2%.

    Husqvarna AB SP ADR (OTCPK:HSQVY), makes chainsaws, as well as lawn and garden equipment. Its operating income for the first quarter increased, and the profit margin improved to 10.7%.

    Sandvik AB SPONS ADR (OTCPK:SDVKY) makes cutting tools, mining, and construction equipment. It is also involved in materials technology. For the latest quarter, its sales increased 21%. Its net profit also went up by 26% for the quarter.

    SKF AB (OTCPK:SKFRY), makes and markets rolling bearings, and elastomeric seals. Its operating profit increased by 17.2%, and sales were up 8.1%. Its basic earnings per share also increased by 4.9%.

    Svenska Cellulosa B (OTCPK:SVCBY), is a manufacturer of pulp, paper, and consumer goods. Its earnings per share increased by 23% for the last reported quarter.

    Swedbank AB SP ADR (OTCPK:SWDBY), is a banking company which serves customers in Sweden, Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia. Both its operating profit, and earnings per share were down in 2006 versus 2005.

    LM Ericsson Telephone Co. (NASDAQ:ERIC), provides telecommunications, and technology. It has a P/E of 16.28, and a PEG of 1.46.

    Disclosure: The author does not own any of the above.

    Source: 11 Ways to Invest in Sweden