CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER
FORMUE- & INVESTERINGSPLEJE
Score prediction: DENMARK 1 – FINLAND 0
Historically, the Danish stock market has performed quite well. If you look at the 10-year annual return – from 2011 to 2020 – according to the MSCI Denmark; in euros, the Danish stock market has returned 13.37% p.a.
Whereas the MSCI World All Countries and MSCI Europe during the same period (and in euros) has returned 10.73% and 6.61% p.a. respectively.
What is the secret behind this success?
I think, one of the answers is, that being a small country and having an open economy, the Danish companies have been used to competition for many years.
To survive and succeed, they had to be both creative and ready to adapt to quick changes, both in competition and market opportunities.
This environment has, in my opinion, been a driver for creating several leading global companies in specific sectors like Novo Nordisk, Vestas, Ørsted, Mærsk, Carlsberg, Coloplast, DSV, Demant and GN Store Nord.
And why should this trend not continue?
Score prediction: DENMARK 1 – FINLAND 2
How sustainable are forestry investments in the Nordic countries?
In many respects, the Nordic countries (Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Iceland) are viewed as highly sustainable. At the same time, we are witnessing a global debate concerning the sustainable use of natural resources, including forestry, timber and wood-based materials.
Is it OK to cut down trees in a large scale, to produce construction materials, paper, carboard, and other artefacts – as it has been done in this region for centuries?
To understand this, I talked to Helsinki-based Kari Kangas, PM of the United Bankers Timberland Fund, which owns nearly 70,000 hectares of forest in Finland – all of which is PPC and FSC certified. These certificates help verify that the forestry management process is truly sustainable. A key concept is Continuous Cover Forestry, which means forest management without clear-felling.
FSC certification ensures that approximately 5% of the area is completely shielded; another 5% is classified as special felling areas. In 2020, new areas totaling approximately 480 hectares, were included in the METSO programme, a voluntary permanent protection scheme for Finnish forest owners.
To understand the broader backdrop, take a look at the action plan for Vision 2030, which has been approved by the Nordic Council of Ministers and runs from 2021 to 2024, with initiatives linked to three strategic priorities: a green Nordic Region, a competitive Nordic Region, and a sustainable Nordic Region.
So, if you are looking for sustainable Real Assets opportunities to upgrade your investment portfolio and improve its diversification, look no further than assets and asset managers in the Nordics.