The face of Sweden’s property bust fights for USD 13bn empire

A Yugoslav refugee turned Swedish property tycoon is fast running out of options to stabilize his USD 13bn empire, and the outcome will have ripple effects across Europe’s real estate industry.
A view of Stockholm, Sweden. | Photo: Ken Ross/AP/Ritzau Scanpix
A view of Stockholm, Sweden. | Photo: Ken Ross/AP/Ritzau Scanpix
By Charles Daly and Anton Wilen / Bloomberg

Ilija Batljan started amassing a portfolio of more than 2,000 properties in 2016, buying up social housing and municipal buildings from cash-strapped authorities and leasing them back. The idea was to combine steady growth with stable returns provided by reliable, long-term tenants — but the reality was an appetite for debt that was too much for the Swedish market.

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Flemming Højbo writes analyses for AMWatch about the Nordic asset and wealth management sector. Højbo was head of communications in the asset management industry for 15 years, and before that, he worked for 25 years as financial and business reporter and editor. | Foto: Jan Bjarke Mindegaard

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