Pohjola Pankki Oyj : Research by Pohjola and researchers of the Aalto University School of Business: Worrisome future prospects

    Pohjola Pankki Oyj : Research by Pohjola and researchers of the Aalto
     University School of Business: Worrisome future prospects for large
                                 corporations

21.3.2013 klo 09:00

Large corporations play a crucial role in the Finnish economy. According to a
recent study, around a quarter of private-sector employees work for large
corporations. Moreover, the role of large corporations in the Finnish economy
is much greater through supply chains. Large corporations still mainly invest
in Finland but their future prospects are worrisome.

In cooperation with the Nordic Institute of Business and Society (NIBS), a
think tank set up by professors of the Aalto University School of Business,
Pohjola carried out a study of large Finnish corporations and their prospects,
involving the largest 250 Finnish companies. 

According to the study, taxes paid by large corporations total 3.1 billion
euros, which accounts for roughly 62% of the total corporate income taxes
levied. Roughly a quarter of large corporations are listed on the NASDAQ OMX
Helsinki. Family businesses account for some 80% of all Finnish companies and
16% of the largest 250 companies. Net sales of the surveyed companies
registered in Finland total almost 320 billion euros, which represent more
than 80% of the net sales of all companies registered in Finland.

- Lately, the tone of public debate on large companies have often been
negative. The study shows that large corporations play an important role in
our society in many respects but their interests have been ignored in
policymaking, says Reima Rytsölä, Executive Vice President, Banking, Pohjola
Bank plc.

Large corporations invest the most in production capacity and the second most
in selling. It is surprising that in relative terms their capital spending is
fairly low on projects pivotal to long-term business expansion and
development, such as product and service improvements.

According to the survey respondents, future prospects will be more dismal in
Finland and fixed investments will increasingly flow abroad. The majority of
the respondents see weak market growth in Finland but expect market demand to
grow abroad, especially in Russia.

- Large corporations will increasingly allocate their capital spending outside
Finland. The Finnish society will have much to lose if our policymakers do not
promptly react to the alarming message from these companies. In their
decisions, policymakers must now encourage fixed investments so that we will
have growing global companies in Finland in the future too, continues Rytsölä.

In particular, companies consider regulatory factors and weakening domestic
demand to present a challenge.

- The business environment is changing constantly. Therefore, we need
policymaking that is predictable and results in committed decisions across the
board in our society, says Rytsölä.

During the summer and autumn of 2012, the researchers collected an extensive
database of the largest companies using and combining public sources of
information. In addition, the key executives of the largest 250 companies were
surveyed extensively in respect of future prospects, based either on an
electronic questionnaire or an interview, representing 96 companies. The
created research data is unequalled in Finland in terms of its extent and
nature.

For more information, please contact: 
Reima Rytsölä, Executive Vice President, Banking, Pohjola Bank plc, tel. +358
(0)10 25 24422
Pekka Mattila, Visiting Professor, Aalto University School of Business, and
Group Managing Director of Aalto University Executive Education, tel. +358
(0)40 738 7221

Pohjola is a Finnish financial services group which provides its customers
with banking, non-life insurance and asset management services. Our mission is
to promote the prosperity, security and wellbeing of our customers. Profitable
growth and an increase in company value form our key objectives. Pohjola Group
serves corporate customers in Finland and abroad by providing an extensive
range of financial, investment, cash-management and non-life insurance
services. We offer non-life insurance and private banking services to private
customers. Pohjola Series A shares have been listed on the Large Cap List of
the NASDAQ OMX Helsinki since 1989. The number of shareholders totals around
32,000. Pohjola's consolidated earnings before tax came to 374 million euros
in 2012 and the balance sheet total amounted to 45 billion euros on 31
December 2012. Pohjola is part of OP-Pohjola Group, the leading financial
services group in Finland, which has over four million customers.

www.pohjola.com

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