Bureau Chief, Helsinki
Ritsuko's Feed
Nov 4, 2013

Google lifts post-Nokia hopes with Finnish data centre investment

HAMINA, Finland (Reuters) – Google will invest another 450 million euros ($607 million) over the next few years in a data center in Finland, boosting a country struggling with Nokia’s decline and weakness in its paper and steel industries.

Prime Minister Jyrki Katainen welcomed the move, one of the biggest foreign direct investments in Finland, and said the government planned to reduce electricity taxes for data centers to encourage more such stakes.

Nov 1, 2013

Loss-making Outokumpu reluctantly selling Terni as steel slumps

HELSINKI, Nov 1 (Reuters) – Finnish stainless steel maker
Outokumpu reported bigger than expected losses on
Friday and said it will have to sell its Terni plant in Italy
after failing to persuade European regulators otherwise.

Outokumpu had agreed to sell Terni to get regulatory
approval to buy ThyssenKrupp’s unit Inoxum but
analysts say a subsequent slump in global steel demand means a
sale may well yield a fraction of Terni’s original value.

Oct 29, 2013

Nokia sees life in remaining business after Microsoft phones sale

HELSINKI, Oct 29 (Reuters) – Nokia predicted a
more profitable future for its NSN networks equipment business
on Tuesday, raising hopes for growth in what will be the Finnish
firm’s main business after its former flagship phones division
is sold to Microsoft for $5.2 billion in the new year.

The third-quarter results also showed growth in Lumia
smartphone sales, although analysts said Microsoft will still
face a tough time in pushing its way into the competitive
consumer devices market with the Nokia deal, which is due to
close some time in the first quarter.

Oct 22, 2013

Nokia launches tablet to join Microsoft gadget push

ABU DHABI/HELSINKI, Oct 22 (Reuters) – Nokia
unveiled its first tablet computer and new large-screen
smartphones, which will form part of Microsoft’s push
in consumer devices when it takes over the Finnish company’s
handset business.

The products serve as a poignant way to mark the end of an
era for the former global leader in mobile phones, representing
its engineers’ last-ditch attempts at regaining market share
from Apple and Samsung after its pitifully
slow start to the smartphone race.

Oct 17, 2013

Outotec to cut up to 500 jobs as miners slash spending

HELSINKI, Oct 17 (Reuters) – Finnish mining technology
company Outotec lowered its full-year sales and
profit margin forecasts and said it planned to cut up to 500
jobs as a sluggish global economy forces miners to rein in
spending.

In a further sign of tough times for Finland’s industrial
firms, its warning on Thursday came just after engineering
company Metso said it faced a fall in sales and
profit due to weakness in its pulp, paper and power unit.

Oct 16, 2013

Talvivaara must deal with market forces: new minister

HELSINKI (Reuters) – Finland’s new minister in charge of state ownership said mining company Talvivaara (TLV1V.HE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and others which have received state investment should deal with market forces without relying too much on government support.

Pekka Haavisto was chosen late on Wednesday by his party, the Greens, as the new Minister for International Development. In addition to overseeing foreign aid, he will also be responsible for the state’s investments in companies.

Oct 15, 2013

SoftBank buys $1.5 billion stake in Finnish mobile games maker Supercell

TOKYO/HELSINKI (Reuters) – Japanese tech and telecoms group SoftBank Corp is to buy into Finnish mobile gaming company Supercell in a deal that values the three-year-old maker of hit game Clash of Clans at $3 billion.

SoftBank said it would pay 150 billion yen ($1.53 billion) for a 51 percent stake in Supercell, with 20 percent of that investment coming from its own mobile games maker subsidiary GungHo Online Entertainment Inc.

Oct 14, 2013

Konecranes cuts full-year forecasts after orders fall

HELSINKI, Oct 14 (Reuters) – Crane maker Konecranes
lowered its full-year outlook on Monday after
third-quarter orders fell 10 percent and profit came in below
expectations, underscoring a weak outlook for Finnish industrial
companies.

Europe’s prolonged economic slump has hurt sales of
Konecranes’ industrial cranes, which are used by a wide range of
manufacturers and in shipyards and ports. In July, it said it
would cut up to 600 jobs after second-quarter results fell short
of forecasts.

Oct 7, 2013

Finland’s Stubb worried about U.S. shutdown impact

HELSINKI (Reuters) – The global economic impact of the U.S. government shutdown, which forced the United States to postpone a trade negotiation with the European Union, was worrying, Finland’s European Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister Alexander Stubb said.

Washington and the EU were due to hold a second round of negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), but talks were postponed as an impasse in Congress over funding for the new fiscal year shut down whole swaths of America’s federal government.

Oct 1, 2013

Finnish fund Ilmarinen to shift more to emerging markets

HELSINKI (Reuters) – Finnish pension fund Ilmarinen plans to cut the proportion of its equities portfolio it invests in domestic companies over the next 10 years so it can shift more into emerging markets, its chief investment officer said.

Timo Ritakallio also told the Reuters Nordic Investment Summit that the fund was happy with its current stake of nearly 2 percent in Nokia (NOK1V.HE: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and that it planned no major change after the sale of the company’s handset business to Microsoft (MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz).