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Pension funds could invest €1-2 billion in Estonia in coming years

Euros. Source: (AFP/Scanpix)

Pension funds operating in Estonia could invest €1-2 billion in Estonia in the next five years, the Estonian Association of Fund Managers said.

"The tax amendments that entered into force in 2015 have resulted in an advantageous environment, and Estonia's economic environment favors investments," association board chairman Mihkel Oja said in a press release. "By today, the volume has grown large enough to make direct investments. We consider it to be realistic that €1-2 billion would be invested in Estonia in five years."

According to Oja, pension funds currently compete with banks in offering financing products as alternatives are expensive — stock exchanges have been rising for a long time, and interest rates are low — but the opportunity to support economic growth is an additional bonus. "I am forecasting that in five years, the volume of pension funds will grow from €3.8 billion to €7 billion," he added.

"In 2017, investments in Estonia increased considerably — LHV pension funds made decisions worth €170 million, and Swedbank's pension funds for €66 million," Oja noted. "The pension funds of LHV and Swedbank invested in Estonia 110 percent of the payments made into them by the state. The format of investments has also changed — while previously investments were made through other funds and the stock exchange, currently, and in the future, mainly direct investments will be made. In addition, a second pillar pension fund that invests only in Estonia is being established."

"The more entrepreneurs use mandatory pension fund assets to invest in Estonia the better," said Mait Palts, director of the Estonian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. It also supports the growth of Estonia's economic development as well as competitive ability."

According to Palts, in the fourth quarter of 2017, the investments of pension fund assets increased considerably — from 5.56 percent in 2016 to 9.59 percent in 2017.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

Source: BNS

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