September update – Swedish household economics overview

Understanding Household Debt in Sweden

In recent years, Sweden has seen significant developments in its economic landscape, particularly in the realm of household debt. This blog post provides an overview of key reports and statistics, shedding light on the current state of affairs in Sweden’s financial sector.

SCB: Labour Force Surveys

The Labour Force Surveys offers insights into the Swedish labour market. As of July 2023, the unemployment rate stands at 6.2%, a slight decrease from the previous year. The employment rate has seen an increase of 1.3%, demonstrating a positive trend in employment figures. These statistics play a pivotal role in assessing the overall economic health of the nation.

SCB: Consumer Price Index

In July 2023, Sweden experienced an inflation rate of 9.3%, indicating a significant increase in the general prices of goods and services compared to the previous year.

 Notable increases in charter holiday and food prices were primary drivers of inflation. These price hikes were likely influenced by post-pandemic travel demand and supply chain disruptions, as well as factors affecting food production costs.

Despite rising prices in certain categories, falling electricity prices played a role in stabilizing the overall consumer price index. Decreasing electricity costs were influenced by various factors, including energy market dynamics and regulatory changes.

 Economic Tendency Indicator

The Economic Tendency Indicator for August 2023 experienced a decline of 2.5 points, settling at 85.2. This drop was primarily attributed to subdued sentiments in the service sector, which has become the most pessimistic part of the business sector. The manufacturing industry, on the other hand, saw a slight decline, mainly due to diminished expectations for future production.

SCB: Swedish Debt Analysis

A detailed analysis of Swedish household debt reveals that Sweden ranks third in the EU for highest per capita debt. Over the years, easy access to loans and low-interest rates have fuelled a significant increase in Swedish household debt, impacting financial stability. While the majority of debts are housing-related, the vulnerability of households to interest rate hikes is a cause for concern, largely due to a preference for variable interest rates. Even small rate hikes can have substantial financial implications.

FI: Mortgage Report

Swedish mortgagors are grappling with growing financial pressure due to rising interest rates and inflation. New mortgagors, in particular, are affected, with an average of 12% of their disposable income going toward interest payments. This is nearly triple the 2021 percentage and represents the highest level recorded in FI’s surveys. Interest rate payments are expected to climb to nearly 16% of disposable income by the end of 2023, further intensifying financial stress.

FI has implemented measures like amortization requirements and a mortgage cap to reduce risks associated with household borrowing. This has led new mortgagors to borrow less and opt for more affordable homes.

Sources: (in Swedish)

Nordic Market Overview, summer 2023

Stockholm 2023-07-12

What a great start of the year!

Market overview:

We at Helix Ice would like to wish our investors, sellers, servicing partners, advisors and networking friends a really nice summer and we hope you will take the chance to BBQ as much as possible. 

We have had a really great start of the 2023 with some nice highlights to point out for the first 6 months:

  • 85 MEUR investments made across the Nordics in NPL portfolios
  • First transactions finalized in Norway
  • Senior advisor in deals outside the Nordics
  • Participated on stage in the Nordic session of NPL Europe 2023 in London
  • Full audit without remarks by PwC on all investment companies that we represent via Power of Attorney
  • Co-investment dialogues 
  • And July has started really well…

The Nordic NPL market is still the buyers market and we have seen several examples now the last year of sellers adjusting their expectations and accepting a lower price on portfolios than before. The forecasted NPL volumes, especially in the bank & finance segment, for the coming 12 months in the Nordics are on really high levels and we are in several interesting dialogues on future collaborations regarding those deals. New investors with low experience from investing in the Nordic NPL are also more and more opening up to step into our region as the price levels on portfolios now have been adjusted and also that some of the existing buyers of portfolios are shifting focus.

Collection forecast is still met in the majority of the deals, but we absolutely see an effect of the macro-economic situation across the Nordics and are working closely with our servicing partners to find the best way forward to keep up the contact with our debtors. When talking to other buyers of NPL portfolios in the Nordic market they confirm our view.

Please feel free to contact us for more dialogues and opportunities around the Nordic NPL market, we love to share our knowledge.

Enjoy the summer!

/COO, Johan Gustafsson

Helix Ice at NPL Europe 2023

One month ago Helix Ice attended the annual NPL Europe conference which was organised by Smith Novak in London. It was a great opportunity to meet other people from the industry, both investors, branch colleagues and technology experts.

We always strive to stay up to date with relevant current technology developments and the hottest trend right now is of course AI and primarily large language models (such as ChatGPT), reinforced learning (advanced machine learning), generative AI (create images etc. based on text requests) among others. I asked ChatGPT to write an article based on selected posts on LinkedIn that attendees had written based on their experiences from the conference we went to:

At a recent NPL conference, attendees discussed the state of the market in Europe and shared their thoughts on various topics related to non-performing loans (NPLs).

One of the main topics of discussion was the impact of COVID-19 on the NPL market. Attendees noted that while the pandemic had initially caused a slowdown in the market, things were starting to pick up again as economies reopened and stimulus measures helped to support businesses and households. However, there was some concern about the potential for a wave of NPLs to hit the market in the coming months as government support measures expire.

Another topic of discussion was the differences between the Nordic region and the rest of Europe in regards to the NPL market. Attendees noted that the Nordic countries tend to have lower levels of NPLs compared to other European countries, and that this is due in part to their strong economies and well-functioning financial systems. Additionally, the Nordic countries have a culture of transparency and cooperation between lenders, which has helped to mitigate the impact of NPLs on the financial system.

The role of technology in the NPL market was also discussed by attendees. Many noted that technology has the potential to streamline the NPL resolution process and make it more efficient, but that there are still challenges to be addressed, such as data privacy concerns and the need for standardization across different markets.

Finally, attendees discussed the importance of sustainability in the NPL market. Many noted that there is increasing demand from investors for sustainable investments, and that this is also true in the NPL market. Attendees highlighted the need for NPL investors to take into account the social and environmental impact of their investments, and to work towards sustainable solutions that benefit both investors and the wider community.

Overall, the NPL conference provided a forum for attendees to share their thoughts and insights on the state of the market in Europe. While there are still challenges to be addressed, such as the potential for a wave of NPLs and the need for technology and sustainability in the market, attendees expressed optimism about the future and the potential for continued growth and innovation in the NPL market.

I’d like to add a few takeaways of my own the conference.

  • There was a lot of discussion about stream lining the data used in portfolio valuations, EBA is developing a data template that should be used in NPL transactions which will help buyers get necessary data. This is not as big of a concern to us in the Nordics as much as the rest of Europe as we already have a history of high data quality and information about our debtors.
  • We can expect a higher degree of 2nd hand market portfolio trades the coming year across Europe with some countries estimating 25% of all transactions being from the 2nd hand market. In the Nordics, we do not have a long history of 2nd hand trades but this year this will probably change and increase significantly, partly due to NPL backstop starting to have a real effect.
  • Our COO Johan participated in the panel discussion for the Nordics session where there was some discussions about niche banks who might have some turbulence in the near future due to higher interest rates and the need to start selling off debt portfolios if they’re not already experienced in this regard.

Finally, I would like to express my gratitude to Smith Novak for hosting us, it was a great event!

Nordic Market Overview, H1 2023

Stockholm 2023-03-27

Nice to be right!

Market overview:

We all read the news about Hoist and Lowell making a big deal in the Nordics and that now Hoist are entering the market. Nice to be right as we at Helix Ice already last year indicated that something was about to happen around Hoist. Hoist entering the Nordic market with this type of investment is a positive signal that it will be some fun years head in the Nordic market with new investors to follow. We at Helix Ice welcomes that development and we also think that we during 2023 will see more new players entering the Nordic market. 

Is it a good time to invest in the Nordics? That’s a question which we received more often the last months and our clear answer to that is YES! We currently have a market in the Nordics with a lot of NPL portfolios for sale and especially when it comes to consumer credits. 

Is it a good time to sell of NPL portfolios in the Nordics? It´s a YES! to that as well at least if you have some quality NPL portfolios to sell. The price levels might not be on the same high levels as you could get before the pandemic but there is still a good chance that you can attract enough interested buyers in an auction round and get a nice price level.

Looking at the current cash flow from different investments made and talking to other in our business, we still see that debtors are struggling to keep up their payment plan and voluntary solutions are decreasing. Both Sweden and Finland have also adjusted the amount in the legal process that a debtor can keep and that have given a negative effect on the cash flow.  Despite that the return of investments in the Nordic remains on a decent level and when you invest in the Nordics you can be sure that you will have a steady cash flow which can be used to re-invest in new portfolios.

Parts of the Helix Ice team will also attend the SmithNovak NPL Europe 2023 and we are really looking forward to meet up with our business colleagues from the industry.

NPL Europe 2023 (

Please feel free to contact us for more dialogues and opportunities around the Nordic NPL market.

/COO, Johan Gustafsson

Our investment structure in the Nordics is getting attention!

Helix Ice was relaunched in January 2021 after recognizing a need for the Nordic NPL – Non-performing Loan market, to enable new types of business solutions and investment collaborations.

And our first years have been a success story in which we have connected our investors and the sellers of NPL portfolios around the Nordic region in deals worth + 160 MEUR. 

We have administrated the launch of four different SPV:s and have during 2022 noticed a much bigger attention regarding the Nordic NPL Market from different international investors. 

We keep a share of about 80-85% of our deals value in the Bank & Finance segment and 15-20% in the Telecom segment. Looking at the deal pipeline for 2023 and the dialogues that are taking place right now, we believe that the Bank & Finance segment in the Nordic region can have some very interesting opportunities for investors as a lot of banks are looking to sell of their NPL portfolios in One Offs or Forward Flows and now also with much lower prices on the portfolios compared to recent years.

We see challenges when it comes to the collection rates in a near future due to the macroeconomic situation but are confident to collect in line with our long-term forecasts and together with our Nordic service partners we look in to different type of activities to keep the contact with the debtors.

Feel free to contact us for a dialogue regarding the NPL market in the Nordic region.

Nordic Market Overview, half year report H2 2022


Market overview:

We continue to share knowledge regarding the Nordic NPL market and are glad to see that our insights are appreciated among both investors and sellers.

It has continued to be an interesting market to make business in as we have sellers looking for better prices than available on their NPL portfolios but at the moment the purchaser side is the one in a better position. This as a lot of Bank & Finance volumes are out on the market and the sellers don’t really get the price levels they expect or need. Perfect time to invest!

Since the last Market Overview, our summer edition, we have had several interesting dialogues with both new investors and service companies looking into the Nordic market and curious to know more about the current market conditions and potential deals to be made. We are happy to assist in such dialogues and have had success so far in the investment structures that launched.

When it comes to collection on the purchased debts in the Nordics, we noticed that both voluntary payments and legal collection have challenges due to the fact that the debtors have smaller margins as everyone else due to the increasing inflation rate. But we also see really good effects from extra activities and campaigns and on a long-term perspective we are still comfortable with the collection forecasts. 

Please feel free to contact us for more dialogues and opportunities around the Nordic NPL market.

/COO, Johan Gustafsson

Market effects from Russia invading Ukraine

We have all followed the horrible actions in Ukraine the past two plus months and hope it will come to an end soon. The invasion has affected us in different ways, some more than other of course with millions of people fleeing their home country not knowing where they’ll end up or for how long and others forced to defend their country with their own lives at stake.

Our lives here in the Nordics however have run its usual course and the NPL market is still active in the Nordics, just as before. Sweden and Finland are discussing the possibility of becoming NATO members with Finland planning to have a public vote.

Macro trends in Europe since the invasion Feb 24

The Russian MOEX index collapsed the days leading up to the invasion and was down 44% between the 16 and 24 Feb (this after already have been on a decline since October), it has since recovered a bit and is now (4 May) “only” down by 5% since Feb 16.

The Nordic indexes has changed with between -3,2 and +9,6 percent since the invasion (24 Feb to 4 May) with Sweden (OMXS30) declining the most and Denmark (OMXC20) gaining the most. Sweden and Finland (OMXH25) both declined over 8% the days leading up to the invasion (16 – 24 Feb) and then continuing down the following two weeks with Finland dipping 16% 16 Feb – 8 Mar and Sweden almost 13%.

We can also see similar effects in the bigger markets in Europe where UK (FTSE100) and Germany (DAX) both declining between 5 and 8 percent leading up to the invasion and Germany continuing down the weeks after with a total decline of 16,5% (16 Feb – 8 Mar). Both markets have recovered fairly well with UK at +4% and Germany at -1,8% since the invasion (24 Feb – 4 May).

A successful first year and now we look forward to an interesting 2022!

And as a great start of 2022 we can proudly present yet another great collaboration as we continue to build bridges between investors and sellers: Helix Ice LinkedIn news – MedMera Bank

Helix Ice was relaunched in January 2021 after recognizing a need for the Nordic NPL – Non-performing Loan market, to enable new types of business solutions and investment collaborations.

And our first year have been a success story in which we have connected our investors and the sellers of NPL portfolios around the Nordic region in deals worth + 100 MEUR.

We have had about 80% of our deals value in the Bank & Finance segment and 20% in the Telecom segment. Looking at the deal pipeline for 2022 and the dialogues that are taking place right now, we believe that the Bank & Finance segment in the Nordic region can have very interesting opportunities for investors as a lot of banks are looking to sell of their NPL portfolios either in One Offs or Forward Flows.

We celebrate the good start and are now very much focused to continue to connect investors and NPL sellers. NPL portfolios in the Nordics – Our expertise!

Feel free to contact us for a dialogue regarding the NPL market in the Nordic region.

Nordic Market Overview, H2 2021

Market overview:

In 2020, we had significantly lower prices for Forward Flows than before and a maximum of 6-12 months agreement compared to the previous standard which was 12-24 and up to 36 months. Large number of transactions available in the Nordic market for both OO and FF and especially within Bank & Finance. Requests for longer contracts are again up on the table with up to 24 months while the buying side tries to reduce this more to 12 + 12 months arrangement and instead of having the opportunity to adjust the price after 12 months.

The price level of unsecured loans in the segment 300 00 – 500 000 SEK has remained low while we see that there is a lot of competition now for the lower amounts, which once again leads to higher prices in that segment. At the moment, there are too many unsecured loan providers on the market and those with slightly more generous credit terms will have trouble selling off their NPL portfolios to the price levels that they calculated with.

Large increase in Sweden in the number of applications for debt restructuring but at the same time also an increased amount of rejections as many applicants have not made sufficient attempts to sort out their finances first. KFM has informed about this now after the summer. In Finland, tax refunds have been at record levels, which also had a positive impact on  return of investments during August and September. Norway has had a steady collection and flow of cases for most of the Corona and although there are some concerns in that market that there will be backlogs around consumers’ debt picture, the prospects are good there. In Denmark, there have been a lot of large portfolio deals within Bank & Finance during the summer and the start of the autumn. A tightening within the credit terms for e-commerce has resulted in several Nordic e-retailers choosing to leave Denmark now and leaving OO-portfolios available on attractive levels.

Increased competition in the Nordic region regarding the purchase of NPL portfolios as several of NPL buyers have been reloaded with funds to invest either through new bonds or through collaborations with major institutional investors. Most players also believe that there will be consolidation in the debt collection and NPL market within the next few years. Exciting times ahead!

Please feel free to contact us for more dialogues and opportunities around the Nordic NPL market.

/COO, Johan Gustafsson

Recipe of the month – October

Brouwers viltgryta

Alla ingredienser är “höftade” under tiden så anpassa efter eget tycke
Val av viltkött går bra att variera efter tillgång, jag valde att kombinera älgbiff med griskind för att få mycket smak av älgen och kombinera med fettet från griskinden

Ingredienser gryta:
500g älgbiff (utan kappa)
70g griskind
100g smör
5dl vatten
1dl tomatpuré
1tsk dijonsenap
10cl buljong (kalv)
5cl umamifond
2,5dl bayersk öl (falcon 2,8%)
kryddblandning av rosmarin (20%), rosepeppar (25%), torkade enbär (25%), muskotnöt (15%) och svartpeppar (15%)
3 lagerblad
3 små morötter
1 gul lök
1 svenskt äpple
2 schalottenlökar
50g torkade trattkantareller
1tsk majsstärkelse

Ingredienser puré:
10 mandelpotatisar
1 palsternacka
1,5dl grädde

Steg 1:
Putsa älgbiffen och ta bort kappan, skiva upp i grytbitar
Putsa och tärna griskinden
Bryn älgbiff i ca 50g smör (spar resten till steg 3)
Ta ur älgbiffen och bryn griskinden

Lägg tillbaka älgbiffen och tillsätt vatten, tomatpuré, senap, buljong och umamifond
Låt puttra i ca 1 timme

Steg 2:
Hacka den gula löken och morötterna, tärna samt skala äpplet
Mortla kryddblandningen
Tillsätt i grytan tillsammans med ölet och lagerbladen
Låt puttra i ca 30 min
Smaka av och justera kryddning vid behov

Steg 3:
Hacka schalottenlök
blötlägg svampen så de sväller
Blanda majsstärkelse med kvarvarande smör
Tillsätt ingredienserna till grytan och låt puttra i ca 30 min till
Smaka av och justera kryddning vid behov

Steg 4:
Skala och skär potatis samt palsternacka i bitar, skär palsternacka i något mindre bitar än potatis
koka med en nypa salt i ca 15 min tills allt är mjukt
Tillsätt grädde och mosa
Smaka av med olja, salt och peppar

Steg 5:
Servera tillsammans med lättare sallad och mörk öl eller rödvin efter smak
OBS: Grytan gör sig allra bäst dagen efter då smakerna har lagt sig och grytan stått till sig i kylskåp över natten, blir perfekt lunch vid hemmajobb


English version (via Google translate) one page 2.