- Canadian, Australian funds invest in Finland power grid
A consortium including Canadian and Australian funds has paid $3.51 billion for the Finnish electricity distribution business of Fortum, the Finnish company said on Thursday. The buyer, Suomi Power Networks, is a consortium created for the occasion. It comprises Australian bank Commonwealth's investment fund First State Investments (with 40 percent), Canadian pension fund Omer's infrastructure investor Borealis Infrastructure (40 percent), and Finnish pension funds Keva (12.5 percent) and LocalTapiola pension (7.5 percent).
- Factbox: Transparency International's global corruption index
(Reuters) - In Transparency International's 2013 Corruption Perceptions Index, Denmark and New Zealand tied for first place out of 177 countries - meaning they were perceived to have the lowest levels of state sector graft. Finland and Sweden were joint third and Norway was ranked fifth. Germany came in 12th, one notch better than 2012, while Japan slipped one place to 18. The United States and China were unchanged from 2012 levels at 19th and 80th place respectively. The 2013 index ranks countries by their perceived levels of public sector corruption. ...
- Dozens of firms interested in destroying Syrian chemicals: OPCW sources
More than two dozen companies have expressed their interest in destroying Syria's chemical weapons stockpile, sources at the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), told Reuters on Friday. The sources did not reveal which companies had expressed an interest, but Timo Piekkari, chief executive at Finland's state-owned Ekokem, said his firm had done so.
- Ex-Nokia engineers launch new smartphone
HELSINKI (AP) — A team of ex-Nokia engineers is launching a smartphone based on the former world No. 1 cellphone maker's old software, hoping to grab a share of a highly competitive market.
- Insight: Denmark's PM changes course to join Nordic welfare reform
By Alistair Scrutton and Teis Jensen COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt alienated her center-left voters when she started cutting one of Europe's most generous welfare systems shortly after she was elected. Two years later there are signs the reforms by "Gucci Helle" - as the elegantly-dressed leader is known to critics - are paying dividends and her popularity has rebounded. Denmark, along with similar ones other Nordic countries of Sweden, Finland and Norway, has long cherished a welfare system that includes living allowances for students and generous parental leaves, part of decades-long social policies focused on egalitarianism. But the high cost, which will rise as populations age, specter of debt crisis in several southern European countries where governments overspent, and the need to lower taxes to make economies competitive has brought pressure for change.
- Rescuers comb Latvia supermarket rubble for more victims
Latvian investigators tried Sunday to narrow down the cause of a Riga supermarket cave-in that killed at least 54 people, as rescuers combed the rubble for more victims. President Andris Berzins demanded a swift and thorough investigation of what he said Saturday was the "mass murder of defenceless people". As Latvian officials combed the site for forensic evidence for their own report to be used in potential criminal trials, structural engineer Toomas Kaljas, CEO and chief engineer at Rak Tek Solutions in Espoo, Finland, insisted structural flaws were to blame.
- IKEA spikes story on lesbian couple in Russian mag
HELSINKI (AP) — Swedish furniture retailer IKEA says it has spiked an article about a lesbian couple in the Russian edition of its customer magazine because that would have contravened that county's law on gay propaganda.
- Russia grants bail to 5 more in Greenpeace case
MOSCOW (AP) — Russian courts granted bail Wednesday to the American captain and four others arrested on a Greenpeace ship over a protest against oil drilling in the Arctic. They are among 30 people detained in the case.
- Nokia shareholders approve Microsoft deal
HELSINKI (AP) — Nokia shareholders have overwhelmingly approved the sale of the ailing cellphone division and a portfolio of patents and services to Microsoft Corp. for 5.4 billion euros ($7.2 billion).
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