Pharma replaces oil as biggest Nordic market cap maker

Insulin maker Novo Nordisk has replaced Statoil as the biggest Nordic company by market cap, according to reports in Danish and Norwegian media.

Denmark’s Berlingske newspaper noted the latest market cap value of DKK490bn (€65.86bn) of Novo Nordisk compares favourably with Statoil’s slightly lower market value of DKK486bn.

The Norwegian oil giant last year confirmed it had found some of the biggest offshore wells since the early 1980s, dramatically reversing the trend seen in the North Sea fields over the past three decades. That find also made one of its exploration partners, Sweden’s Lundin Petroleum, one of the rockets on the Stockholm stock exchange last year.

But Novo has had a good run so far this year, as Danish investors have been returning to the stock market. Norway’s Dagens Næringsliv notes that Novo stock has been seen as a safe place in which to invest, including for liquidity reasons. The stock is up over 50% in the past six months.

Nordic equity managers previously have noted the Danish company’s potential to grow in emerging markets such as China, where rising standards of living are leading to changing diets, and more frequent onset of diseases such as diabetes that are associated with diets and lifestyle of developed markets.

In associated news, Statistics Denmark has published figures showing the country’s exports grew 1.4% in February, taking total growth in exports to 5% over three months. Imports grew 3.7% over the period, meaning the country’s balance of trade was increasingly favourable.

Danske Bank chief economist Steen Bocian said that the growth in exports was all the more impressive given that many of Denmark’s closest markets are suffering recession. In terms of current prices, then exports have never been greater, Bocian added.


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