Good start for the Finnish

Finland-mapIt's the most sparsely populated country in the European Union – home of the composer Jean Silbelius and the man who designed the Linux operating system – but now Finland has another claim to fame: it had the best investment returns in Europe so far this year, according to an index from Russell Investments.

Finland has returned 2.3% since the beginning of 2012, beating second-placed Germany, with 2%, and third-placed Luxembourg, with 1.9%. It was one of seven countries in the Russell Developed Europe Index to manage a positive score. Average returns were slightly negative, at -0.02%.

The debt-ridden south European states suffered worst. Returns for Greece were an agonising -8.4%, while Italy, Spain and Portugal also fared poorly.

Russell contrasted the European results with the performance of the United States stock market, as measured by the Russell 1000 Index of large-cap stocks, which has returned 3% so far this year.

©2012 funds europe