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Score prediction: NETHERLANDS 2 – AUSTRIA 0


As you probably all know Holland best for our tulips, cheese, and windmills, there is more that may find your interest. For international investors, names like ASML, Royal Dutch Shell, Philips, ING and Unilever are very familiar. But there is more below sea level.

The Netherlands has a long history of entrepreneurship, going back to the Golden Age. Besides the magnificent paintings of Rembrandt, Vermeer and Jan Steen, it also marked the beginning of the VOC (Dutch East India Company) in 1602. The VOC can be considered as a forerunner of today’s joint-stock company.

Although a lot of Dutch companies have ceased since that time, the trade spirit and our drive to be world-leading has never decreased nor being limited to Large Cap Companies. On the Amsterdam stock exchange, you’ll find some interesting names like B&S Group and Alfen Beheer.

The former is building on the ‘Golden Age mentality’ and operates as a very successful worldwide distribution partner for consumer goods. The latter is founded in 1937 as a factory for high- and low voltage switches and transformers. Today the company is operating internationally in the heart of the energy transition. The company designs, develops and produces smart grids, energy storage systems and electric vehicle charges.

Most of our local ‘pearls’ are under-researched and provide great opportunities for investors who are willing to look beyond their nose. These are only two examples and I’m sure you can find more yourself if you dive into it. If you don’t want to invest this specifically, you can also find specialised mutual funds. So if you want to win, don’t try to beat our Orange Lions but look for hidden treasures in Amsterdam.          




Score prediction: NETHERLANDS 1 – AUSTRIA 1


After winning their opening game, Austria is up against the Netherlands. Descending from the training camp in Seefeld/Tirol at 1.180m to Amsterdam at sea level will be an easy task compared to the steep climb in the game against Oranje.  

On the investment side “Sustainability” is the name of the game in Austria. Bond, equity and real estate investors benefit from Austria’s healthy fundamentals, like the 75.1% share of renewable energy sources used for electricity which is double the EU average of 34.1%. In this category Austria ranks 1st in the Euro area.  

Austria’s inland water quality within the EU is 2nd best overall. With 58.2% Austria also has the 3rd highest recycling rate of municipal waste within the EU. Organic farming activities increased during the pandemic and with 25.3% of its overall agricultural area utilised under organic farming Austria ranks 1st among all EU member states.  

Sustainability offers opportunities for innovation. The EU Eco-Innovation Scoreboard ranks Austria within the Top five countries behind Luxembourg and the three Scandinavian EU countries. The challenge for investors is how to best access the market as many leading companies are not listed on the stock exchange. Private equity and debt instruments offer an alternative.

Overall sustainability country rankings are favourable for Austria (Sustainalytics 19th/172 countries; ISS ESG 12th/60; EPI (Yale University) 6th/180 and SDG Index 7th/166).  

Based on CSRD (Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive) and the EU taxonomy rules it will be seen how Austria’s listed companies (voenix Index) will perform within the new frameworks.  

Kirsten Hastings

Kirsten is international editor of Expert Investor and International Adviser. She joined Last Word Media in October 2015. Kirsten has a Masters in Financial Journalism from the...

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