The total return on Veritas’ investments was 3.3 per cent in January–March. Good investment returns strengthened Veritas’ solvency.
Equity investments generated the highest return, 7.6 per cent. The return on fixed-income investments was slightly negative at -0.3 per cent. Real estate investments and other investments generated a return of 1.0 per cent and 3.6 per cent respectively.
‘The financial markets are already focused on the post COVID-19 era. The stock market has been on the rise since last year’, explains Kari Vatanen, CIO of Veritas. ‘The extensive monetary and fiscal policy measures support the stock market, but it is also boosted by the progression of the vaccination programmes and hope that we will soon see the lifting of pandemic restrictions.’
In the US, in particular, the economy has recovered as a result of the rapid vaccination rollout and extensive stimulus programme.
‘Increased inflation expectations have pulled interest rates up, and this is also reflected in the negative returns for fixed-interest investments in Veritas’ portfolio.’
Veritas endeavours to prevent disability
The global economy is expected to make a rapid return from the collapse caused by the corona pandemic. In Finland, the GDP will also likely return this year to the levels seen prior to the crisis.
‘The outlook for the manufacturing industry is red hot and some links along the production chain are scrambling due to the scarcity of available components’, says Vatanen.
The service sector has suffered from the lockdowns caused by the pandemic, but its outlook is also improving as we move towards the summer.
‘Tourism, catering and cultural sectors, for example, are in a difficult situation’, states Tommy Sandås, Interim CEO of Veritas.
The ability of many entrepreneurs to cope at work is also being put to test. During the spring, Veritas has especially focused on ways to prevent disability and has initiated, among other measures, co-operation with the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health. This spring, Veritas will also hold webinars dealing with coping at work and mental toll.
‘My message to Veritas customers is that we are here for you. There is no need to try and deal with your problems on your own when your own insurance contact is always standing by, ready to help.’
A carbon-neutral investment portfolio by 2035
In April, Veritas published its first-ever Corporate Responsibility Report that reports on, among other things, climate change risks related to Veritas’ investments in accordance with the reporting framework of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).
‘Our goal is to develop our investment portfolio to be carbon neutral by 2035. We will likely reach our goal even earlier for direct real estate investments’, says Vatanen.
The calculated carbon intensity of Veritas’ listed equity and corporate loan investments is 26 per cent lower than the level calculated for corresponding market indices.
‘In terms of our direct real estate investments, emissions have been reduced significantly by, for example, using only renewable energy sources for electricity in all our properties and exploiting renewable energy sources for heating.’
Interim report 1 January – 31 March 2021 (pdf)
- Kari Vatanen, CIO, tel. +358 (0)10 550 1882, email@example.com
- Tommy Sandås, Interim CEO, CFO, tel. +358 (0)10 550 1786, firstname.lastname@example.org