The Finnish government has announced that it has placed an €844 million investment into domestically-based Nokia so far this year, increasing its current stake to 3.3 percent.
“We believe that this will be a good investment,” said Antti Makinen, the head of the public investment arm Solidium. “One must remember that Nokia is Finland’s largest company and its Finnish ownership has been rather thin.”
Reuters reports that Solidium has cashed out on shares in telco Telia, steel refinery SSAB and holdings firm Sampo to finance the Nokia investment. Solidium will not pursue a board seat come the next shareholders meeting, but it could do so in the future. Makinen also said that while he is happy with the current position, the agency is leaving possibilities to more investment open.
The only other Finnish investors in Nokia are a trio of pension funds that have a combined stake of 3 percent. The remaining parties are foreign-owned with US-based asset manager Blackrock having the largest individual stake at 6.2 percent.
Why is this important? Well, 5G networking is currently at a pivotal initial stage where companies involved, depending on their R&D and deployment patterns, will dictate how carriers will roll out the cellular standard. Qualcomm, seen as the industry leader in this area, had been under Broadcom’s gaze for acquisition before US President Donald Trump ordered a ban on any potential deal — a Broadcom regime has been seen by DC insiders as very restrictive on research and development and likely to lead to Chinese semiconductor firms taking the lead on 5G.
The impacts aren’t immediately clear on HMD Global, Nokia’s brand licensee for smartphones.