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Finland ETF Chained by Euro Crisis

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Throughout the financial crisis the Scandinavian countries have proven out to be fiscally very sound with low debt-to-GDP ratios and much sounder banking systems due to having had their own banking crisis 20 years ago.

Lately, fund provider iShares has been making it easier to access the region having just listed the iShares MSCI Norway Capped Investable Index Fund (ENOR) to go along with its longstanding MSCI Sweden Index Fund (EWD). And now comes the third fund from the region, the iShares MSCI Finland Capped Investable Index Fund EFNL.

The new Finland ETF has 47 holdings and will charge a 0.53% expense ration.

The largest sectors include industrials at 28% of the fund followed by technology at 19%, materials 14% and financials at 13% of the fund. Nokia (NOK) is by far the largest single holding at 17% of the fund followed by insurer Sampo at 9%, utility company Fortum 8% and elevator manufacturer Kone at 7%.

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In many articles I've written for TheStreet.com I've stressed the importance of knowing at least a little about any very large holding in an ETF. Most U.S.-based investors know about Nokia. The company's stock price has struggled mightily in the market and against its competitors making innovative cell phones. In the last year NOK is down 50%, for five years it is down 73% and for 10 years Nokia is down 77%. If the stock continues on that trajectory then it will be a drag on the Finland ETF's performance.

Most investors know about the financial crisis and that Germany has emerged as the anchor in the region for its fiscal responsibility and financial might and has a large role in determining the outcome for the Eurozone. What may be less known is that Finland is also in a position of financial strength by virtue of a debt-to-GDP ratio in the range of 40% to 45%, compared to well over 100% for Greece and a projected budget deficit of less than 1% for 2012. For reference, Greece recently got caught underestimating its budget deficit as being in the low teens.

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