The survey covered the Nordic municipal agencies, namely MuniFin and its counterparties Kommuninvest of Sweden, KBN of Norway and KommuneKredit of Denmark. The Nordic agencies were also compared to other European issuers such as the German KfW, the Dutch BNG Bank, European Investment Bank and Nordic Investment Bank.
– The distributors clearly feel these issuers have credit stories that are relatively similar and all these issuers receive great feedback. However, there are also differences in profiles, says Hanna Helgesson of Prospera.
Strong Finnish economy increase investor interest in MuniFin
The respondents of the survey felt that the insecurities related to other parts of Europe have increased investor interest in MuniFin. Investors have also noticed that the Finnish economy has been picking up pace in the past couple of years.
MuniFin as a company is recognised by the distributors for its activity in the green bonds market. Some of the respondents also mentioned that social bonds would further increase their interest in the MuniFin securities. Also issuing more benchmark loans was on the distributor wish list.
– MuniFin has a diverse funding strategy which caters for a wide range of investors. They have been able to stay at the forefront of each market, constantly adapting to investor needs. Participation at various events helps them to stay close to their investors and maintain this flexibility in the funding. This is welcomed by the investors, commented one of the respondents.
Survey helps to improve MuniFin’s funding operations
The Prospera survey defines MuniFin as a company with a very professional operation model. MuniFin’s strengths are its funding strategy, clear and consistent way of acting, transparency, information and its perceptiveness to market demands. All these have had a central role in the development of the company’s funding operations in the past years.
– Each year we go through the feedback from the Prospera survey in great detail. Awards we have been given in the recent years are a good indicator we’re on the right path, but the Prospera survey offers us more concrete ideas on how to improve our way of working. It also gives our partners a chance to give constructive feedback, says Joakim Holmström, Executive Vice President and the Head of Capital Markets at MuniFin.
Facts about the survey
Prospera has surveyed North European issuers every year since 2011. The Swedish Kommuninvest was the first company to mandate the survey but MuniFin has for several years been the other assigner of the survey.
Prospera is part of a global research group Kantar Sifo and it specialises in the finance sector research. Its services range from tailored surveys like the one in question but also sector wide market research conducted at its own initiative.
This survey was conducted by 22 phone interviews with international distributors. The respondents were pre-determined as it is essential that the respondents are familiar with the agencies they were asked to review and rate.