Finnish Benchmark Index Jumps on Nokia Deal: Helsinki Mover

The Nasdaq OMX Helsinki 25 index, a gauge of Finland’s benchmark stocks, soared the most in 21 months, lifted by Nokia Oyj’s sale of its handset business to Microsoft Corp.

The index rose as much as 4.7 percent, the most since Nov. 28, 2011. The gauge advanced 3.9 percent to 2,518.31 at 11 a.m. local time in the Finnish capital, adding 6.26 billion euros ($8.25 billion) in value from yesterday. The gain made it today’s biggest winner among Europe’s benchmark stock indexes.

Nokia shares jumped as much as 48 percent today, the most on record, after Microsoft Corp. agreed to buy its handset business and license its patents for 5.44 billion euros. Even after today’s gain, Nokia -- once Finland’s most valuable company -- has lost more than 90 percent of its share value since a 2000 peak after losing ground to U.S. rivals.

With today’s surge, the Nasdaq OMX Helsinki 25 index has jumped about 14 percent this year. That compares with a 5.1 percent gain in the Euro Stoxx 50 Index and an 11 percent advance in the Stoxx Nordic 30 Index. Nokia shares are up 40 percent this year.

Nokia, based in the Finnish city of Espoo, was once the world’s largest smartphone maker with more than 50 percent of the market before Apple Inc.’s iPhone and Google Inc.’s Android smartphone operating system were introduced about six years ago. Today’s deal will leave Nokia mainly as a network equipment maker. The devices and services business generated about 50 percent of Nokia’s net sales during 2012, worth an estimated 15 billion euros, the companies said.

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