SBB, one of Sweden’s largest landlords, was once considered a safe investment for hundreds of thousands of ordinary Swedes. However, it is now facing the consequences of a property crash that could have far-reaching implications for the Nordic state’s economy.
With its second-quarter results imminent, SBB is desperately trying to stabilize its finances after a recent credit rating downgrade to junk status. The company’s shares have plummeted by more than 90% since reaching their peak in 2021.
Previously known as a stock for the people, with approximately 300,000 small investors eagerly buying in, SBB’s shares were highly sought after. Many of these investors were optimistic about the prospect of becoming millionaires, only to face substantial losses as the stock’s value dwindled to near worthlessness.
SBB’s allure stemmed from a strong history of growth, reliable dividends, and an admirable credit rating. However, the company, founded by former social democrat politician Ilija Batljan, accumulated massive debts through the acquisition of public properties, including social housing, government offices, schools, and hospitals.