It has been reported in local trade press that Sweden funds averaged returns of 5.3% so far this year, lagging Europe (7.7%), North America (15.2%) and Latin America (19.5%), according to data from Morningstar.
Business magazine Affärsvärlden says that of the regions where Swedes invest only Eastern Europe has done worse, returning -2.1% over the period
Investors in Swedish assets were given a warning in March this year, when minister for Finance Anders Borg warned that the imposition of sanctions against Russia could hit Sweden hard, along with Finland.
Since then the EU, US and others have applied sanctions against the country in response to its actions regarding Ukraine and Crimea.
Local investors such as East Capital and Tundra Fonder have been offering ongoing commentary on the situation in Russia, in which their funds are invested. However, it is noteworthy that Tundra reported on its Facebook page in recent days that Russia’s president Vladimir Putin said in a speech in Crimea that “Russia should not touch foreign investments in the country”.
And it is also the case that Robur portfolio managers Kristofer Barrett and Elena Lovén, who manage the provider’s Russia fund, said in their most recent note that “from the year’s low point in March, stock market prices made strong gains, putting Russia among the best returning markets during the second quarter. Despite the gains, the Russian market is valued at about half other emerging markets.”
Thus, instead of looking to foreign factors, it may be that because of a relatively highly valued Swedish stock market at the beginning of the year, its gains since have been muted relative to other markets.