Author Topic: Sweden: New coins and notes in 2015/2016  (Read 14384 times)

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Offline Bimat

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Sweden: New coins and notes in 2015/2016
« Reply #60 on: May 24, 2018, 09:45:30 AM »
Swedish central bank to prevent Crane Currency from printing krona in Malta

Crane Currency, the American printing giant which opened a Malta facility in 2016, recently announced it will close down a printing company in Tumba.

22 May 2018, 7:17am
by Matthew Vella

A plan to shift the printing of the Swedish currency banknote in Crane Currency’s new Malta plant has hit the rocks it would seem, after the Swedish Central Bank declared it will prevent the country’s currency printing from moving to the island.

Crane Currency, the American printing giant which opened a Malta facility in 2016, recently announced it will close down a printing company in Tumba which has historically manufactured Sweden’s banknotes since 1755 – the only such printer in Sweden.

The plant was acquired by Crane from the Swedish Riksbank (central bank) in 2002 for €15 million.

While Crane will leave design and support functions in Tumba, the paper mill will be shuttered. Crane Currency president Annemarie Watson told its 170 employees that fierce competition and the existing infrastructure at the Tumba plant had forced the move. Crane Currency employs over 1,300 employees in six locations in the United States, Sweden and Malta.

But the news has not been welcomed by the authorities at the Riksbank that controls the country’s currency.

In a comment to MaltaToday, a spokesperson for the bank said Crane had notified the Riksbank last week that they will no longer print banknotes at their facility in Tumba.

“The Riksbank’s agreement with Crane clearly stipulates that the printing of Swedish notes should take place at Tumba. Printing Swedish banknotes on Malta would in that respect violate the agreement between the Riksbank and Crane,” spokesperson Tomas Lundberg said.

When asked what had motivated the Riksbank’s decision to prevent the printing of Swedish banknotes in Malta, the spokesperson said the central bank had never considered printing its banknotes in Malta.

“The first requirements for participating in the procurement to get an agreement to print Swedish banknotes has been for the banknotes to be printed in northern and or central Europe. When Crane won the last procurement we clarified further in the agreement that the banknotes had to be printed in Tumba. In line with that, printing the Swedish banknotes in Malta has never been an option.

“The Riksbank is now continuing to work to find a good solution for the continued production of Swedish banknotes.”

The reaction also came hot on the heels of a broadcast on Swedish TV4 News earlier in the week, which delved into the role of the Prime Minister’s chief of staff Keith Schembri in securing the €100 million investment from Crane Currency.

Joseph Muscat had already described Schembri – whose group of companies includes a paper merchant as well as a print engineering unit – as “the catalyst in making sure that things get done” in negotiations with the Boston currency giant.

It later transpired that Schembri’s company, Kasco Technical Services, was the Malta agent for Komori, a company that supplies Crane’s printing machines. The Opposition Nationalist Party cried foul, accusing Schembri of a blatant conflict of interest as a result of his business interest in the deal.

Schembri had however said Kasco would not be supplying Crane with any machinery but that it could carry out servicing for the American currency printing company. “Having knowledge of the industry, I can confirm that currency printing machinery requires strict security features and specifications and therefore such machinery is not acquired through third parties but directly from the manufacturer.”

According to the Riksbank’s head of payments, Christina Weishammar, any future printing of krona will be limited to northern Europe once the Riksbank issues a new tender for the currency printing. She was answering questions from business newspaper Dagens Industri as to whether Crane could win a new procurement contract, using its Malta facility.

News of the Tumba closure has now prompted criticism by Swedish MPs, among them Moderate Party MP Lotta Olsson who asked finance minister Per Bolund to change the rules and ensure that Swedish banknotes are printed in Sweden. “My belief is that you must have a banknote that is physically in Sweden. It feels very strange if it is sent abroad… Even though we do not use paper money everyday, we have to think about what happens during a crisis,” Olsson told Aftonbladet.

Source: Malta Today
Caution. The low-hanging fruits are still there maybe for a reason.

Offline FosseWay

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Re: Sweden: New coins and notes in 2015/2016
« Reply #61 on: May 24, 2018, 10:23:25 AM »
It is strange that they didn't make a fuss about Myntverket being closed and Swedish coins being minted in Finland.

Offline redlock

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Re: Sweden: New coins and notes in 2015/2016
« Reply #62 on: May 24, 2018, 10:47:46 AM »
It is strange that they didn't make a fuss about Myntverket being closed and Swedish coins being minted in Finland.

Finland is a nordic neighbour.
 
Malta, well, how shall I put it, has a whiff (if not more) of corruption and other unsavoury things surrounding it recently. Not good in the eyes of a politically so correct country like Sweden. Plus, the loss of jobs. Bad for politcians everywhere.
It'll be interesting to see how this thing goes forward.


Offline chrisild

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Re: Sweden: New coins and notes in 2015/2016
« Reply #63 on: May 24, 2018, 12:24:18 PM »
Provided that what the Swedish central bank says about the deal it has with Crane AB is correct, printing SEK notes in Malta would be a breach of that contract. In that case, the Riksbank does of course have the right to look for alternative options. The next question however is, could a new call for tenders actually be limited to specific member states only?

Christian

Online Figleaf

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Re: Sweden: New coins and notes in 2015/2016
« Reply #64 on: May 24, 2018, 01:48:15 PM »
could a new call for tenders actually be limited to specific member states only?

In principle, under the rules of the WTO agreement on government procurement, Sweden cannot exclude any WTO member that subscribes to the agreement. Crane could easily be excluded if there is breach of contract, though.

In practice, Sweden has some options to evade the WTO agreement, such as citing military considerations, which is what MP Lotta Olsson does in the article above, an emergency (lack of banknotes) or funny quality demands (practical experience with the effect of the Nordic climate on banknotes.) Those options are fake, but Sweden would not be the first country to use them and it wouldn't be the first time Sweden exercises protectionist options.

Peter
« Last Edit: May 24, 2018, 05:27:56 PM by Figleaf »
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline chrisild

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Re: Sweden: New coins and notes in 2015/2016
« Reply #65 on: May 24, 2018, 05:17:25 PM »
Thanks for the insight! Well, the neighbor Denmark picked the Mint of Finland for the production of its coins (just like Sweden), and Oberthur (FR) as the manufacturer of its notes. Let's see where future SEK notes will come from ...

Christian