Investment firm Industrivarden pulls dividend proposal

STOCKHOLM, April 7 (Reuters) - Swedish investment firm Industrivarden on Tuesday said it was withdrawing its dividend proposal for 2019 due to lingering uncertainty on the back of the COVID-19 pandemic and its dampening effect on the business climate.

"Against the background of the prevailing uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board of Directors has decided to withdraw the dividend proposal," Industrivarden, which owns stakes in companies such as AB Volvo, Essity , Sandvik and Ericsson, said.

Still, Industrivarden's board has the ambition to call an extra shareholder's meeting in the autumn to decide on the dividend "if the circumstances exist", it said in a statement.

"With the year's first quarter now behind us, we can see that the world looks considerably different than at the close of 2019," Industrivarden CEO Helena Stjernholm said in the company's report for the first three months of 2020, also published on Tuesday.

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"However, we and our portfolio companies are well-poised to deal with challenges as well as take advantage of opportunities during the coming year." (Reporting by Johannes Hellstrom; editing by Johan Ahlander)

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