The enclosed time series graphs enable us to examine Finnish pension insurers’ holdings on the stock exchange from 2004 onwards. The graphs make a distinction between the whole earnings-related pension sector and pension insurance companies. We update the graphs once a year during March-April.

The graphs can also be downloaded as a PDF file using the link:

Time series graphs on Finnish stock market holdingspdf, 232 kB

At the end of 2017, the value of the Finnish quoted shares owned by the entire earnings-related pension sector totalled EUR 14,4 billion. Pension insurance companies held 70,8 per cent, or EUR 10.2 billion, of these holdings. The remaining 29,2 per cent were owned by public-sector pension insurers, company pension funds and industry-wide pension funds, and by specialized pension providers (Farmers’ Social Insurance Institution, Seafarer's Pension Fund). The companies and the whole sector followed largely parallel trends between the years 2004 and 2017.

During the period 2005–2007,the pension sector’s holdings of domestic quoted shares increased by about five billion euros, thanks to a favourable market trend and additional purchases. In consequence, the pension sector’s share of the market value of the Helsinki Stock Exchange increased slightly. The impact of the financial crisis is evident in 2008, when the market value of the pension sector’s holdings of domestic quoted shares plummeted following the fall in share prices. The market value of the Helsinki Stock Exchange shrank even more. In consequence, the pension sector’s share of the Stock Exchange’s market value continued to grow.

The market value of the Helsinki Stock Exchange has not returned to the level preceding the financial crisis, unlike the market value of the domestic quoted shares held by the pension sector, which is currently (end of 2017) at the highest level ever. Underlying this development is both a favourable market trend and additional purchases made in past years. However, the value of the shares held by pension insurance companies in proportion to the market value of the whole stock exchange has decreased.

Thus, the earnings-related pension sector's share of the Helsinki Stock Exchange's market value rose with increasing speed during the years following the financial crisis, until 2011. In 2012 this trend turned as pension insurance companies assumed a different view of the risk involved in Finnish shares. Authorized pension providers sold more domestic listed shares than they purchased. At the same time, the market value of the stock exchange revived after the weak year of 2011. The trend of 2012 also continued in the years 2013–2016, when sales exceeded purchases every year.

The pension sector’s trading in quoted Finnish shares, i.e. the sum of all sales and purchases, increased during the period 2004–2007. The financial crisis also brought a halt to this trend. After 2009, trading picked up again and, in the early 2010s, returned to the level that prevailed before the financial crisis.

However, trading on the Helsinki Stock Exchange has not returned to the level preceding the financial crisis; instead, it has remained at a considerably lower level: The average trading in 2009–2012 is slightly under half of the average trading in 2004–2008. Owing to this trend, the pension sector’s share of trading on the Helsinki Stock Exchange has risen after the financial crisis.

The steepest rise took place in 2012, when trading on the Helsinki Stock Exchange shrank further, by more than a quarter of the steady volume that had prevailed between 2009 and 2011. In 2013, authorized pension providers’ trading in domestic listed shares fell to less than half of the figure for 2012. As trading on the stock exchange remained at almost the same level as in 2012, authorized pension providers accounted for a clearly lower percentage of total trading.

The earnings-related pension sector’s trading on the stock exchange showed a downward trend from 2012 up to 2017. Underlying this trend is the increasingly efficient diversification of risks. Moreover, since the volume of pension assets has grown, the search for suitable investments requires that some investments are made outside Finland. On the other hand, the relative shares of various areas also change, depending on which areas have the best returns.