The only security that a company providing services generally has is its cash flow.It has long been predicted that services will save Finland’s exports. Services related to information technology, in particular, are growing rapidly and account for over 40 per cent of all exports of services, which total nearly EUR 18 billion year 2015.According to Finnvera’s experts, exports of services require much more creative financing solutions than traditional exports of goods.- Often a company incurs costs before it has even started to produce the service. While an exporter of goods can use, for instance, machines and equipment as collateral, the only security in exports of services is often the company’s cash flow, says Finance Manager Jani Tuominen of Finnvera.This is a vital difference when negotiating for financing. - In exports of services, we concentrate on earnings and business logic. Attention is paid, among other things, to the agreements that the company makes and the type of cash flow it has, Tuominen continues.When exporting goods, it is often simpler to find a solution for financing.- When goods are exported, we can usually look at the company’s history. The company’s financial statements and key indicators reveal how it has exported similar products before. With an exporter of services, we cannot necessarily see the same from the periodic key figures, Ilkka Soininen, Finance Manager responsible for the exports of goods at Finnnvera, explains.A vacillating lineThe rise in exports of services does not show all that clearly in Finnvera’s statistics because, increasingly often, exports of services are included in exports of goods. Finnvera always tailors financing solutions to suit each individual enterprise, which means that the security for exporting goods and the security for exporting services do not necessarily differ from each other.- At present, the services exported are really diverse, as many companies engaged in traditional trading in goods also sell services. For instance, companies in the machine and equipment industry sell maintenance for the equipment, Tuominen says.In his view, the rise in exports of services is due in part to the economic situation. In addition, the market has changed, and more and more services are sold.- Exporters of services usually need a steady presence on site in the buyer’s country. This is especially true for large markets, such as the United States, where many service companies wish to gain a foothold. Singapore, the modern hotspot for business in Asia, also attracts exporters of services.Growth by taking risksSmarp, a software company specialised in employee communication, has been exporting its services for over four years. Finnvera’s support has played an important role for this service company since its inception as a start-up.- Financing has enabled us to take risks, and without risk we wouldn’t have been able to grow, says Roope Heinilä, CEO of Smarp.Smarp has now over 50 employees.According to Heinilä, Smarp has entered international markets by establishing its own offices, by distributing through local partners and by selling their product directly from Finland. Exports have required help, especially when the company has founded offices abroad.Aside from Helsinki, Smarp has now a foothold in Stockholm, London and New York. Next, the company will look to Asia.- Above all, exports must be considered according to the target country. As an exporter, we want to be available on site when the goal is to meet potential customers face-to-face. For example, on the Indonesian market this has not been sensible so far, but in the UK it is vital.FACT: Export financingFinnvera has a wide selection of alternatives for loans, domestic guarantees and export credit guarantees, which can be used to assemble a suitable financing solution for the exporter. Finding a suitable financing solution always depends on each individual case. Loans. Short-term loans are often appropriate financing solutions for exporters or services and goods. For instance, the Internationalisation Loan is intended for financing a Finnish SME’s business abroad. Domestic guarantees. Guarantees granted by Finnvera can be used as security for loans received from banks and other providers of financing, as well as for other contingent liabilities. For instance, by means of an Export Guarantee, an exporter can acquire pre-delivery or post-delivery financing for working capital from a bank. Finnvera can guarantee, for example, accounts with overdraft facility, limits, and accounts with bank guarantee. Export credit guarantees. A Letter of Credit Guarantee protects a confirming bank against commercial or political risks associated with a confirmed letter of credit, whereas a Bill of Exchange Guarantee is best suited for transactions valued at less than EUR 2 million. The Export Receivables Guarantee is intended for short-term exports. It can be used by exporters to insure their receivables from a foreign buyer against credit losses. Text: Pi Mäkilä
International recognition to Finnvera for financing the world’s largest biomass-fired power plantThe arrangement of financing plays an increasingly important role in export trade negotiations, and this trend has gained strength in recent years. The more difficult and the more international the market an enterprise strives to enter, the more probable it is that the buyer sees financing as an edge in competition. The financing solution tailored for the world’s largest biomass-fired power plant, to be constructed in England, brought Finnvera the international Deal of the Year award. Flexible and innovative financing models were also commended by an international team of consultants that assessed Finnvera’s export financing.According to the assessment commissioned by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment, the export financing system implemented by Finnvera in Finland is of a high standard. The international team of consultants considered that Finnvera’s management of risks and responsibilities is at an excellent level in international comparison. Finnvera manages risks both through careful analysis when granting credits and by constantly monitoring the exposure situation. Finnvera has acted in an innovative manner and, in response to demand, has introduced new products and service processes to the market.The assessment report published in March points out that, owing to the structure of Finnish industry, exports are strongly concentrated in a few sectors. This underlines the importance of Finnvera’s risk management system. Moreover, individual export transactions, such as orders for cruise vessels, may be very large.The key task is to support the Finnish exporter’s competitivenessA good example of a flexible financing solution tailored to local conditions is the project where Finnvera provided buyer credit financing for the design and delivery of a boiler plant by the Finnish company Amec Foster Wheeler Energia Oy for the world’s largest biomass-fired power plant in Middlesbrough, England.Construction of the power plant is in progress, and the plant is scheduled to begin commercial operation at the start of 2020. The 299 MW power plant will be fuelled by wood pellets and chips. Construction of the power plant is estimated to cost approximately GBP 650 million (about EUR 750 million). Finnvera’s share of the financing is roughly GBP 100 million (about EUR 115 million).The financing of biomass-fired power plants is challenging in England. One reason for this is the new type of business model. In this model, the proceeds from the plant are based on the CfD feed-in tariff used for renewable energy in the UK. The supply of fuel rests on long-term agreements. Long credit periods are another challenge for financing. The special needs associated with the project were taken into account in the financing solution of the MGT Teesside project, and the export credit agency played a pivotal role in the provision of supplementary financing.- The export credit is financed by Pension Insurance Corporation of the UK, and the credit risk associated with the power plant company is guaranteed by Finnvera. This is not a typical arrangement in a situation where an export credit agency is involved, but thanks to the solution, agreement on the power plant project was reached. We are very proud that this financing project brought Finnvera the Deal of the Year award at the international Trade Finance Awards event. It is especially important for us to support the success and competitiveness of Finnish exporters on international markets, says Executive Vice President Jussi Haarasilta of Finnvera.For more information: Finnvera to provide financing for a large biomass plant in the UKAn international assessment report gives Finnvera a good gradeLate in 2016, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment commissioned a study on the responsibilities, risks and impacts involved in export financing. The assessment was made by an international team of consultants that has solid experience of export financing. Represented on the team were two consulting firms – Antitrust&TradeRx GmbH (ATRx) and International Financial Consulting Ltd. (IFCL) – and Northumbria University.
Norwegians don’t know all the things Finnish companies can do.Norway is seriously overshadowed by Sweden, if the indicator used is exports by Finnish companies. According to the statistics compiled by Finnish Customs, exports to Norway total about EUR 1.5 billion per year, whereas trade with Finland’s western neighbour, Sweden, is valued at nearly six billion.Companies’ enthusiasm to head for the Norwegian market has long been modest, even though Finns enjoy a good reputation in their neighbouring country.- Norwegians often turn their eyes elsewhere, not to Finland in the east. Success on the export market therefore requires local presence. Trade is based on trust. Many companies start exporting to faraway destinations, even though this involves challenges and requires a lot of money and time, says Regional Director /Norway Markus Laakkonen of Finnvera.- A company planning exports should look closer first. Surveys conducted among companies indicate that interest in neighbouring areas has increased. For instance, Norway has regularly ranked the 3rd or 4th as a destination of interest among Finnish companies, he continues.The traditional oil, gas and energy sectors have long attracted enterprises to Norway. Demand in seafaring, fishing and building has also increased lately.Norway is now looking boldly to the future. One example is the country’s strong input into electric vehicles: the Norwegian Government is planning to ban the sale of traditional diesel or petrol-fuelled cars by the year 2025.Laakkonen says that potential exists in many other sectors as well. Economic growth in Norway dipped last year, but according to forecasts, the gross domestic product will increase by about 1.7 per cent this year.Wealth also gives Norway leeway to make investments in infrastructure and health services.- Norway invests heavily in the reform of health services. Finnish healthcare companies would therefore be in great demand in Norway. Know-how and efficiency, in particular, are selling points for Finnish healthcare companies, Laakkonen points out.The blue economy is risingEven more interesting than economic growth is the increase in Norway’s population. According to population forecasts, Norway is one of the fastest growing countries in Europe.- When the population increases, new roads, transport solutions and schools are needed. This creates opportunities for Finnish companies because the natural conditions in Norway are very similar to those in Finland, says Ambassador Erik Lundberg.He believes that Norwegians are now looking to the sea, in particular.- Oil and gas supplies won’t last forever, and Norway must constantly seek new renewable energy solutions. Opportunities are seen especially in what is called the blue economy: the marine industry, the fish industry and the energy sector.The health sector is also reaching out to the sea. As one topic being studied at present in Norway, Lundberg mentions the health effects of seaweed.In Lundberg’s opinion, Finnish companies have been slow in seeking their way to Norway, because in both countries the other party is known rather poorly.- Norwegians don’t know what Finns can do, and vice versa. In numerous sectors, however, there are many points of contact and areas that would offer good opportunities for cooperation.Stiff competitionLundberg emphasises that the Nordic countries, in general, should have more cooperation. Some innovation cooperation has already been launched between universities.- For example, Slush has also been noticed in Norway, and interest in the Finnish start-up sector has risen.Except for the agricultural and food sectors, Norway is part of the EU internal market. Protectionism occurs mainly in those areas.- Norway is quite an open economy. However, it is good for a company dreaming of the Norwegian market to keep in mind that competition is fierce. One must show up well prepared, and solid trust must first be built with the locals.FACT: Norway Gross domestic product: About EUR 486 billion (2015). Finland’s gross domestic product is EUR 207 billion (2015). Gross domestic product per capita: EUR 93,270 (2015). Finland’s gross domestic product per capita is EUR 37,827 (2015). Economic growth: 1.6% (2015). Inflation: 2.3% (2015). Exports: EUR 105 billion (2015). Imports: EUR 71 billion (2015). The total value of Finnish exports to Norway in 2015 was about EUR 1.55 billion. Principal sectors: Industry and services. Norway’s main export products are oil, natural gas, machinery, metals, chemicals and fish. Currency the Norwegian Krone: The exchange rate is EUR 1 to NOK 9.16. More information about Finnvera’s export credit guarantees is available here.Sources: Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Focus Economics, Finnish CustomsRead more: The electric car boom attracted a Finnish company to Norway
CEO of Parking Energy Ltd: Norwegians don’t have similar know-how in high technology.Norway’s heavy input into new technology, and especially into the development of electric vehicles, has also aroused the interest of Finnish companies working in this sector.It’s about time, too: only a handful of Finnish companies have been established in Norway. Currently, a couple of hundred Finnish companies operate locally in Norway. Despite its geographical proximity, Norway is only Finland’s 13th largest foreign trade partner.Parking Energy Ltd, specialising in the charging technology, looks to Norway with optimism. Jiri Räsänen, CEO of Parking Energy Ltd, sees huge potential on the Norwegian market.- Norway is the clear number one on the world’s electric car market, and it’s therefore only natural that we would head for the Norwegian market. With a population roughly the same as Finland, the country now has nearly 150,000 electric cars, says Jiri Räsänen, CEO of Parking Energy Ltd.One in five Norwegian cars runs on electricity, and the Norwegian Government is planning to ban the sale of traditional diesel and petrol-fuelled cars by the year 2025. For companies such as Parking Energy, the market is tens of times larger than in Finland. At present, there are only about 4,000 electric cars in Finland.Communication worksThe Helsinki-based company is also attracted by Norway’s purchasing power and the long-lasting building boom.- From our perspective, the situation is excellent, as there doesn’t seem to be as much competition in new products as there is in the traditional fields. Know-how of high technology is not quite the same as in Finland; nor is the corporate culture in the service sector as wide as, for instance, in Sweden, Räsänen explains.He feels that the Finnish company has been received well in Norway. Exports have been facilitated by the fact that a few other Finnish companies specialising in the recharging of electric cars have already acted as trailblazers.- So far the country has seemed very straightforward. It’s been easy in Norway to get to talk with the local decision-makers and representatives of the electricity sector. Dealing with the authorities is surprisingly similar to that in Finland, and contacts on the whole are very uncomplicated, Räsänen says.- Norway complies with the EU Directives on many issues, but owing to the Norwegian bedrock, electrical earthing is slightly different from elsewhere in Europe. With the exception of this minor hitch, we haven’t had any problems entering the market, he continues.FACT: Norway Gross domestic product: About EUR 486 billion (2015). Finland’s gross domestic product is EUR 207 billion (2015) Gross domestic product per capita: EUR 93,270 (2015). Finland’s gross domestic product per capita is EUR 37,827 (2015). Economic growth: 1.6% (2015). Inflation: 2.3% (2015). Exports: EUR 105 billion (2015). Imports: EUR 71 billion (2015). The total value of Finnish exports to Norway in 2015 was about EUR 1.55 billion. Principal sectors: Industry and services. Norway’s main export products are oil, natural gas, machinery, metals, chemicals and fish. Currency the Norwegian Krone: The exchange rate is EUR 1 to NOK 9.16. More information about Finnvera’s export credit guarantees is available here.Sources: Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Focus Economics, Finnish CustomsRead more: Norway - peeping out behind Sweden and focusing on the new
On 7 April 2017, Finnvera’s Annual General Meeting elected new members to the company’s Board of Directors and Supervisory Board.Pentti Hakkarainen, Member of the Supervisory Board, ECB Banking Supervision, was elected to serve as the new Chairman of the Board of Directors. Pekka Timonen, Director General, continues as the First Vice Chairman.The Second Vice Chairman is Terhi Järvikare, Director General, who was elected to the Board as a new member.Ritva Laukkanen, MBA, was also elected to the Board as a new member.The members continuing on the Board of Directors are Kirsi Komi, LL.M., Pirkko Rantanen-Kervinen, B.Sc. (Econ.), and Antti Zitting, Enterprise Counsellor.Antti Rantakangas, Member of Parliament, continues as Chairman of Finnvera’s Supervisory Board and Krista Kiuru, Member of Parliament, continues as Vice Chairman.The new members elected to the Supervisory Board are Pia Björkbacka, Adviser, Trade and Industrial Policy, andOlli Rantanen, Head of Legal Services.The members continuing on the Supervisory Board are Eeva-Johanna Eloranta, Member of Parliament, Lasse Hautala, Member of Parliament, Laura Huhtasaari, Member of Parliament, Timo Kalli, Member of Parliament, Kari Kulmala, Member of Parliament, Leila Kurki, Senior Adviser, Kari Luoto, Managing Director, Veli-Matti Mattila, Chief Economist, Ville Niinistö, Member of Parliament, Carita Orlando, CEO, Eero Suutari, Member of Parliament, Christel Tjeder, II Vice Chairman, Tommi Toivola, Senior Adviser, and Sofia Vikman, Member of Parliament.The Annual General Meeting adopted the Consolidated Financial Statements and the Parent Company’s Financial Statements for the period 1 January–31 December 2016, discharged the Supervisory Board, the Board of Directors and the Chief Executive Officer from liability, and approved the proposal made by the Board of Directors for the use of the parent company’s profits.KPMG Oy Ab was re-elected Finnvera’s regular auditor with Juha-Pekka Mylén, Authorised Public Accountant, as the principal auditor.Inquiries:Pauli Heikkilä, Chief Executive Officer, tel. +358 29 460 2400Risto Huopaniemi, Senior Vice President, Legal Affairs and Administration, tel. +358 29 460 2520
India’s telecommunications sector is experiencing aggressive competition. Finnvera believes that export companies will set their sights this year on five countries, in particular.Among the new, opening markets, the greatest demand will focus on Argentina and Iran. In addition, demand for Finnvera’s guarantees is predicted to increase in India and Mexico. The fifth country on the list is Russia.In these countries, investments associated with the modernisation of infrastructure, in particular, will provide export opportunities for Finnish companies as well.- In India, for instance, export credit guarantees at their best exceeded 600 million euros, but exports have been declining during the past three years, says Senior Adviser Outi Homanen of Finnvera, who specialises in Asia.- However, it has been gratifying to note during the past six months that demand is picking up.She points out that Iran is in a different position from the rest of the quintet. The country is still subject to broad sanctions that hinder exports and restrict the financing of exports. Sanctions against Russia are not as restricting in this regard.Finnvera guarantees export credits granted to foreign companies so that Finnish enterprises can trade with them. One contract may involve hundreds of millions of euros. According to Homanen, Finnvera is needed especially when the repayment period of export credits is too long for the bank’s risk-taking.- In other respects too, the importance of guarantee institutions has risen in the 2010s. Banks are still cautious after the last economic crisis, Homanen explains.Demand for Finnvera’s export credit guarantees and special guarantees rose last year by 50 per cent, to almost EUR 15 billion. Demand for export credits, in turn, increased by as much as 74 per cent, to EUR 12.5 billion. In particular, the increased demand was driven by shipyards and the telecommunications and forest sectors.Risk assessments also on siteWith respect to export credit guarantees, Finnvera’s task is to understand what is happening on the market, while also assessing risks. Some risk assessments are conducted on site.Last year, Finnvera’s representatives together with client enterprises in the telecommunications sector alone visited India, Russia, Nigeria, Dubai, Mexico, Argentina and Brazil.In India, telecommunications operators have seen a fivefold increase in 3G and 4G customers within a few years. New competitors have emerged among the operators, such as the extremely aggressively campaigning Reliance Jio, which has operated in India for about a year.Reliance Jio was one reason why Finnvera and Nokia set off on a joint trip to India last autumn.- India has always been an extremely competed and price sensitive market. With many people, the volumes are large. Major investments for operators are now underway in India. For instance, the 3G network is being updated to a 4G network. Such situations often require discussions on financing, which Finnvera is also asked to attend, says Finance Manager Antti Saviaho, who is responsible for the telecommunications sector in Finnvera.However, not all local operators need export credit agencies.- Internationally large players often have access to their own financing options, Saviaho points out.During the visit last autumn, Finnvera met about half a dozen Nokia customers. Some of them were old customers, some newer acquaintances.- We had good meetings together with the exporter, and we got much additional information about the market situation in India. We actually met all of the operators, and it was interesting to note that they all saw the market situation and the related big changes in a slightly different way.According to Gergely Abraham, responsible for Asia Regional Treasury & Structured Finance at Nokia, Finnvera’s presence in the target country benefits all parties.- It is often vital for Nokia’s local customers and pivotal for Nokia’s competitiveness in terms of financing. In a way this is a question of highly efficient door-to-door marketing, which helps us to meet all the principal parties to the contract, Abraham says.FACT: This is how export financing operates Finnvera strives to ensure the competitiveness of Finnish companies on the export market by providing exporters and their financiers with an export financing system that is of the same level as in Finland’s main competitor countries. The buyer benefits from competitive financing terms. With regard to export credit guarantees, Finnvera’s task is to understand what is happening on the market. Trips taken together with clients help Finnvera to assess risks, improve Finnvera’s recognisability and promote Finnish exports. The service model is the same for all large exporters in various sectors. For granting export credit guarantees, countries are classified into eight categories on the basis of their assessed credit quality. Export credit guarantee activities are regulated by a number of international rules and agreements. Finnvera’s authorisation to provide export financing was raised at the turn of the year. The authorisation to grant export credit guarantees rose from EUR 19 billion to EUR 27 billion, while the authorisation to finance export credits and to provide interest equalisation rose from EUR 13 billion to EUR 22 billion. Each financing decision is always based on careful assessment and analysis. In addition, Finnvera assesses its portfolio on a regular basis. So far, operations have generated nearly EUR 1.8 billion in buffers to cover any losses that might be realised in the future. Read more about export credit guarantees hereRead more about export credits hereRead more about export credit guarantee products here
Finnvera and the European Investment Bank (EIB) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation with the European Investment Advisory Hub (EIAH).The cooperation covers such issues as the exchange of information and the sharing of good operating models. It can also mean participation in the EIAH working groups, discussions and, for example, in initiatives intended for the exchange of information or development of a national advisory service.The European Investment Bank and the European Commission have launched the European Investment Advisory Hub as part of the Investment Plan for Europe. The aim of the Investment Plan is to remove obstacles to investments in Europe, to provide visibility and technical assistance to investment projects and to make smarter use of existing financial resources. So far twenty European countries have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the EIB. As part of the Investment Plan for Europe, Finnvera also maintains advisory service (esir.fi) for the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI).“The cooperation improves the possibilities of Finnish investment projects to make use of the European Investment Advisory Hub. A central feature of this participation is also the development of cooperation with other national Team Finland actors,” says Pauli Heikkilä, CEO of Finnvera.The Memorandum of Understanding will be in effect until the end of 2020.Additional information:Valtteri Vento, Programme Manager, Finnvera plctel. +358 29 460 firstname.lastname@example.org
As in previous years, we have published our annual report online.Each year we also report on corporate responsibility. Our corporate responsibility report is included in the annual report. Finnvera has compiled the reports in accordance with the G4 Guidelines of Global Reporting Initiative (GRI). In our reporting, we concentrate on key issues in terms of the company’s operations and its stakeholders and we adhere to the reporting guidelines of State-owned companies whenever applicable.The annual report is published in Finnish and in English.Open the annual report.
Stock Exchange ReleaseThe Financial Statements, the Report of the Board of Directors and the Statement on the Corporate Governance and Steering System published by the Finnvera Group on 28 February 2017 contained some incorrect information. These errors have no effect on the bonds issued by the company or on the ability of the issuer, Finnvera plc, to repay its loans.The final versions of the Finnvera Group’s Financial Statements, Report of the Board of Directors and Statement on the Corporate Governance and Steering System 2016 are appended to this release.The corrections made: (information before the correction in brackets)Report of the Board of Directors- Balance Sheet on 31 December 2016The parent company’s long-term liabilities as per 31 December totalled EUR 5,175 million (4,962 million).Notes to the Financial Statements- Note B1 Credit risks, figures given in EUR 1,000Debt securities; 193,425 (208,919)- Note B11 Liquidity risk, maturity of assets, liabilities and guarantees, figures given in EUR 1,000Presentation of figures on the row ‘Assets, liabilities and derivatives, net’ has been corrected for the reference year 2015.- Note E3 Investments, figures given in EUR 1,000Investments in associated companies, totalFinnvera Group 31 Dec 2015; 19,860 (2,058,655)Finnvera plc 31 Dec 2016; 0 (2,153,299)Finnvera plc 31 Dec 2015; 0 (2,178,721)Investments totalFinnvera Group 31 Dec 2015; 2,058,655 (19,860)Finnvera plc 31 Dec 2016; 2,153,299 (0)Finnvera plc 31 Dec 2015; 2,178,721 (0)Statement on the Corporate Governance and Steering System- FundingRating given by Moody’s to Finnvera Aa1 (Aaa)Finnvera Group’s H2/2016 and Financial Statements 1 Jan-31 Dec 2016 (PDF)Statement on Corporate Governance and Steering System 2016 (PDF)Additional information:Pauli Heikkilä, Chief Executive Officer, tel. +358 29 460 2400Ulla Hagman, Senior Vice President, CFO, tel. +358 29 460 2458Also read: Financial Statements of the Finnvera Group 1 January–31 December 2016 (PDF)