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Finland is the freest nation in the world, according to the WAD profile, in terms of civil liberties, freedom of the press, low corruption levels, and political rights. It is the sixth happiest nation in the world, and eleventh on the 2006 United Nations Human Development Index.

Some more interesting facts about Finland:

  • Its largest industries are electronics, machinery, vehicles and other engineered metal products, forest industry, and chemicals.
  • It is the most competitive country in the world for three consecutive years, according to the World Economic Forum.
  • Linus Torvalds, developer of the Linux kernel, is Finnish.
  • It has an inflation rate of 1.9%.
  • It has the twelfth highest GDP per capital in the world.
  • Here are some Finnish stocks worth reviewing:

    Fortum Corp. Finland (OTC:FOJCF) is a large energy company which provides electricity, heat, and power plant operation and maintenance. They are in the process of building a biofuel power plant near Helsinki. For the period of January through June 2007, comparable operating profits were up 5%, profit before taxes were up 23%, and earnings per share were up strong at 33%.

    Amer Sports Cp Sponsored ADR (OTCPK:AGPDY), is the Finnish company that owns the Wilson Sporting Goods organization. It makes popular tennis rackets that have been used by Pete Sampras, Roger Federer, Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Flavio Saretta, Jack Kramer, Jimmy Connors, Chris Evert, and Steffi Graf. It also owns the Atomic, Suunto, Precor and Salomon sports brands. It has paid annual dividends in six, out of the last seven years.

    Kemira OYJ Ord Shrs (OTC:KMRAF), is the world's largest producer of pulp and paper chemicals. It also produces water treatment chemicals, industrial chemicals and paints. The country of Finland owns 49% of the shares.

    Metso Corp. (NYSE:MX), which trades on the New York Stock Exchange, makes and sells equipment, machinery, and automated systems to the paper, minerals, and power industries. The stock has a P/E of 16.2, a P/S of 1.25, and a yield of 2.7%. It has paid dividends annually for the last eight years.

    Nokia Corp. (NYSE:NOK), which is the largest company in Finland and trades on the NYSE. It is the largest manufacturer of mobile telephones, devices, and networks, with about 36% of the world’s mobile phone market share. It has a P/E of 20.5, a P/S of 2.04, and a PEG of 1.74. It pays a dividend rate of 1.6%.

    Stora Enso Corp. (SEO), makes and markets paper, packaging board, and wood products. The oldest known stock certificate in existence, date 1288, is from Stora Kopparberg, which later became Stora Enso. The stock has a P/E of 18.5, a P/S of 0.72, and a yield of 2.4%.

    UPM-Kymmene Corp. (UPM), makes and sells magazine, newsprint, and fine and specialty papers. It has a P/E of 25.7, a P/S of 0.94, and a yield of 3.4%.

    Disclosure: The author does not own any of the above.

    Source: Seven Ways to Invest in Finland's Thriving Economy