Russian investors make high-profile sporting acquisitions and Rosatom negotiates over nuclear power plant development in Finland.
Direct investments from Russia have more than doubled in Finland during the past ten years and currently total EUR 858 million, according to data from the Bank of Finland. Indirect investments through other countries involving Russian-owned companies may actually amount more than direct investments, according to professor Kari Liuhto from the Turku School of Economics.
Increasing Russian investment in Finland has been recently highlighted by the Finnish media. Rusatom Overseas, the subsidiary of Russia’s Rosatom state nuclear corporation, is currently in negotiations for developing a nuclear power plant in Finland. Rusatom is also negotiating about acquiring a 34% stake in the Finnish company Fennovoima.
This summer, three prominent Russian businessmen Gennady Timchenko, Arkady Rotenberg and Boris Rotenberg, who also have Finnish citizenship, acquired a stake in the Finnish ice hockey team Jokerit. Their company Arena Events Oy is also acquiring Hartwall Areena in Helsinki, which is Finland’s largest ice hockey stadium and event venue, and where Jokerit plays its home matches. Jokerit will play in Russia’s KHL ice hockey league during the 2014–2015 season.
Smaller Russian-owned businesses are also active in Finland. Data from Suomen asiakastieto shows that every sixth new entrepreneur in south-eastern Finland is Russian. Accommodation and restaurant businesses are especially popular. Many Russian immigrants in Finland are selling products to Russia or providing services to Russian tourists, according to professor Riitta Kosonen from Aalto University. Russian entrepreneurs value the quality of life in Finland and corruption- free opportunities to run a business, she says.