16.9.2022 valid documentation

Basic data of the statistics

Data description

The statistics on foreign direct investments annually describe investment activities that are based on considerable influence or control in the investment object. In practice, the statistics describe financial transactions between the domestic and foreign units of multinational enterprise groups, and the assets and liabilities they generate, as well as international corporate acquisitions. The statistical data can also be used to assess the degree of globalisation in the economy. Foreign direct investments are part of the framework of the statistics on balance of payments, but the data concerning them are only published once a year as separate statistics.

The statistics on direct investments have been published as part of the statistics on balance of payments by the Bank of Finland since 1968.
The main responsibility for the statistics on balance of payments was transferred to Statistics Finland on 1 January 2014, and Statistics Finland has published the statistics on foreign direct investments as a separate set of statistics once a year since 2014. With the new statistical standards, direct investments are published in net terms in the statistics on foreign direct investments and in gross terms as part of the balance of payments statistics.

Statistical population

The annual inquiry is based on a cut-off sample, in which the respondents are selected so that around 95 per cent of the value of the portfolio of direct investments is covered. The framework of the inquiry is based on the Register of Enterprises and its additional data on foreign ownership, the Enterprise Group Register and its data on affiliates, and the data of the Tax Administration. The inquiry includes some 1,100 local enterprise groups every year. The annual inquiry data are available in September of the year following the statistical reference year as part of the annual publication of the balance of payments and international investment position, and in October as part of the publication of the statistics on foreign direct investments. In figures published prior to this, the data collected in the annual inquiry have been estimated based on the latest available annual inquiry.

Statistical unit

The statistical unit is an institutional unit.

An institutional unit is an economic entity characterised by decision-making autonomy in the exercise of its principal function. A resident unit is regarded as constituting an institutional unit in the economic territory where it has its centre of predominant economic interest if it has decision-making autonomy and either keeps a complete set of accounts, or is able to compile a complete set of accounts.

Unit of measure

The unit of measure is EUR million.

Flows and stocks are measured at monetary and current (market) prices.

Base period

The data in the statistics on foreign direct investments are not in index format.

Reference period

The statistics on foreign direct investments are published once a year. The data for a statistical reference year are published 9 to 11 months after the end of the statistical reference year. The published figures become final no later than three years after the end of the statistical reference year.

The monthly net foreign direct investment flows are released around six weeks after the end of the month as part of the statistics on balance of payments and international investment position. Quarterly investment portfolios of direct investments are released two-and-a-half months after the end of each quarter, also as part of the statistics on balance of payments and international investment position. The distributions by sector and country are carried out only on annual data and are released in the statistics on foreign direct investments.

Reference area

The statistical data covers the entire world.

Sector coverage

The statistics on foreign direct investments cover all the sectors and industries of Finland’s national economy.

Time coverage

The country and sector-specific stock and flow data on direct investments are available on Statistics Finland’s website from 2004 onwards. Similar direct investment data in accordance with international statistical standards are available for several countries in the world.

The renewal of the statistical standards causes a break in the time series of direct investments. Starting from the statistical reference year 2013, items between fellow enterprises are reported in accordance with the revised directional principle, which decreases the stocks of foreign direct investments both to and from Finland. For the period prior to 2013, the Bank of Finland has assessed the capital stock and fellow enterprise items in accordance with the revised directional principle for the years 2009 to 2012. The estimates have been compiled for the IMF’s Coordinated Direct Investment Survey (CDIS) and the data are available on the IMF’s website. In line with the new statistical standards, direct investments are published in connection with the balance of payments and international investment position statistics according to the asset/liability principle and the statistics on foreign direct investments according to the revised directional principle, which results in the figures on direct investments presented in the statistics differing from one another.
 

Frequency of dissemination

The statistics on direct investments are published once a year on Statistics Finland’s website.

The monthly net foreign direct investment flows are released around six weeks after the end of the month as part of the statistics on balance of payments and international investment position. Quarterly investment portfolios and flows of direct investments are released two-and-a-half months after the end of each quarter, also as part of the statistics on balance of payments and international investment position.

Concepts

Asset/liability principle

According to the asset/liability principle, financial transactions included in direct investments are presented according to the data given in the balance sheet of the reporting entities either as assets from abroad or as liabilities to abroad. The asset/liability principle does not take into consideration reverse investments, which are included in direct investment according to the directional principle. Direct investments are recorded in the balance of payments according and international investment position to the asset/liability principle.

Capital inflow/outflow

In inward foreign direct investments, the capital invested on net by a foreign direct investor in Finnish direct investment enterprises in a given period. Correspondingly, in outward investments, the capital invested on net by a Finnish direct investor in foreign direct investment enterprises in a given period.

Directional principle

Financial assets and liabilities are netted in direct investments data according to the directional principle by the direction of the control//influence between the direct investor and direct investment enterprise. Direct investments to Finland describe the capital that a foreign investor has invested directly in an enterprise located in Finland under the investors' control or influence. Direct investments abroad describe the capital that a Finnish investor has invested directly in an enterprise located abroad under the investors' control or influence. Reverse investments, or financial assets of the direct investment enterprise from direct investors, and investments between affiliates are taken into account in the data according to the directional principle. The financial assets and liabilities of affiliates whose ultimate control is located in Finland are netted and recorded as outward direct investments. Correspondingly, the financial assets and liabilities of affiliates whose ultimate control is located abroad are netted and recorded as inward direct investments. Data on direct investments according to the directional principle are published in the statistics on Foreign direct investments. Extended directional principle refers to the directional principle applied under the new statistical standards (BPM6/BD4).

Fellow enterprise

Fellow enterprises are connected to one another through a shared parent company. Fellow enterprises cannot have a direct investment relationship with each other.

Foreign direct investment

A direct investment relationship exists between a resident enterprise in one economy (direct investor) and an enterprise (direct investment enterprise) that is resident in an economy other than that of the direct investor, when the direct investor has control (over 50% of the voting power) or influence (from 10% to 50%) over the direct investment enterprise. In other words, direct investment reflects the objective of establishing a lasting interest between the direct investor and the direct investment enterprise. The direction of the investment (either inward or outward) is determined in the statistics based on the direction of the control/influence between parties. Furthermore, foreign direct investments refer to financial transactions between parties in a direct investment relationship.

The capital of direct investments is divided into equity and debt-based items. The counter item of reinvested earnings presented in the current account is recorded in equity. Equity includes transactions with shares in corporations, share subscriptions in rights issues and other equity transactions. For listed companies, the value of equity is recognised at market value and for other enterprises at own funds at book value. The debt capital of direct investments includes individual loans, leasing credits, deposits in consolidated accounts, subordinate loans comparable to equity, trade credits, accrued charges/credits and deferred charges/credits, bonds, and money market instruments. If both the creditor and debtor practise other financial intermediation than insurance, only so-called perpetuals are classified as debt capital of direct investments.

The statistics on foreign direct investments are published according to the so-called extended directional principle. The new statistical standards (BPM6/BD4) recommend that the asset/liability principle is applied to direct investments in the statistics on balance of payments and international investment position. Similarly, the extended directional principle is recommended to be applied in connection with examinations of direct investments by country or sector. Due to divergent ways of presentation, the figures for direct investments given in the statistics differ from one another.

Immediate direct investor

The institutional unit located abroad that is first in the enterprise's control and influence chain.

Local enterprise group

Enterprises in the same country owned by the same controlling enterprise belong to a local enterprise group. Foreign affiliates and those domestic affiliates where the ownership chain goes through foreign countries are not included in the local enterprise group in question.

Pass-through investment

Investments where a domestic investment enterprise receives capital from a foreign direct investor and then reinvests it in its own direct investment enterprises abroad. The same pass-through investment item increases both inward and outward foreign direct investments. When pass-through investments are negative, foreign investors have unwound their foreign investments channelled through Finland, which decreases both Finland's inward and outward direct investments.

Reinvested earnings

Reinvested earnings are calculated as the difference between the earnings on equity accruing to direct investors and distributed earnings. The counter item of reinvested earnings presented in the current account is recorded in equity.

Reverse investment

Reverse investment refers to the acquisition by a direct investment enterprise of a financial claim on its direct investor

Stock, position

The value of the capital invested by a foreign direct investor in Finnish direct investment enterprises at a given moment (inward direct investments). Correspondingly, the value of the capital invested by a Finnish direct investor in foreign direct investment enterprises at a given moment (outward direct investments).

Ultimate direct investor

An institutional unit using control in a foreign associated company or affiliate located abroad or in the home country that is topmost in the ownership chain of the direct investment enterprise. The ultimate direct investor is not controlled by any other institutional unit. The ultimate direct investor can also be a private person permanently living abroad or in the home country.

Accuracy, reliability and timeliness

Overall accuracy

The main sources of error in the statistics are related to non-response and under-coverage. If a response is missing, the statistics are supplemented with the data from the previous year, if possible. Otherwise, the missing data are patched with imputations.

Punctuality

The statistics on foreign direct investments are published once a year. The data for a statistical reference year are published 9 to 11 months after the end of the statistical reference year. The published figures become final no later than three years after the end of the statistical reference year.
The monthly net foreign direct investment flows are released around six weeks after the end of the month as part of the statistics on balance of payments and international investment position. Quarterly investment portfolios of direct investments are released two-and-a-half months after the end of each quarter, also as part of the statistics on balance of payments and international investment position. The distributions by sector and country are carried out only on annual data and are released in the statistics on foreign direct investments.

A link to the release schedule for the statistics on balance of payments and international investment position can be found at: https://stat.fi/en/statistics/mata.

Comparability

Comparability - geographical

Statistics Finland is committed to following the international statistical standards. The statistics on foreign direct investments are compiled in accordance with the OECD Benchmark Definition of Foreign Direct Investment, 4th Edition (BD4), and the IMF Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Manual, 6th Edition (BPM6).

The country and sector-specific stock and flow data on direct investments are available on Statistics Finland’s website from 2004 onwards. Similar direct investment data in accordance with international statistical standards are available for several countries in the world. There may be statistical asymmetries between two countries due to differences in data sources in various countries, for example. Efforts are made to reduce these asymmetries in cooperation with other countries.

Comparability - over time

The statistics on direct investments have been published as part of the statistics on balance of payments by the Bank of Finland since 1968.

The main responsibility for the statistics on balance of payments was transferred to Statistics Finland on 1 January 2014, and Statistics Finland has published the statistics on foreign direct investments as a separate set of statistics once a year since 2014. With the new statistical standards, direct investments are published in net terms in the statistics on foreign direct investments and in gross terms as part of the balance of payments statistics.

The renewal of the statistical standards causes a break in the time series of direct investments. Starting from the statistical reference year 2013, items between fellow enterprises are reported in accordance with the revised directional principle, which decreases the stocks of foreign direct investments both to and from Finland. For the period prior to 2013, the Bank of Finland has assessed the capital stock and fellow enterprise items in accordance with the revised directional principle for the years 2009 to 2012. The estimates have been compiled for the IMF’s Coordinated Direct Investment Survey (CDIS) and the data are available on the IMF’s website. In line with the new statistical standards, direct investments are published in connection with the balance of payments and international investment position statistics according to the asset/liability principle and the statistics on foreign direct investments according to the revised directional principle, which results in the figures on direct investments presented in the statistics differing from one another.

Coherence - cross domain

Inward Foreign Affiliate Trade Statistics (FATS) and outward FATS statistics published by Statistics Finland are closely related to the statistics on direct investments.

The data compiled in the FATS are not the same as in the statistics on direct investments.

Coherence - internal

Statistical data within the data set in question are consistent.

Source data and data collections

Source data

The main data sources for the statistics on direct investments are the annual balance of payments survey on foreign financial assets and liabilities (BOPA) and the quarterly survey on foreign financial assets and liabilities (BOPQ). The data are collected with online forms in Statistics Finland’s collection system.

The annual inquiry is based on a cut-off sample, where the respondents are selected so that around 95 per cent of the value of the portfolio of direct investments is covered. The framework of the inquiry is based on the Register of Enterprises and its additional data on foreign ownership, the Enterprise Group Register and its data on affiliates, and the data of the Tax Administration. The inquiry includes some 1,100 local enterprise groups every year.

In addition, enterprises are sent an inquiry on any corporate acquisitions carried out. This questionnaire is monitored and implemented by Statistics Finland.

Data collection

The method used is direct data collection.

More information: https://stat.fi/keruu/menetelmat_en.html
 

Frequency of data collection

The annual inquiry is carried out annually and the quarterly inquiry every three months.

The corporate acquisition inquiry is carried out on a continuous basis.
 

Methods

Data compilation

The received and validated responses are loaded into a data store according to an ETL procedure. Weightings and calculations in respect of nonresponse errors and potential inflations are carried out in the data store. Given that the inquiry is carried out with a cut-off method, the figures in terms of the missing sample must be inflated. The calculations also include changes in exchange rates and prices as well as other changes.

Data validation

The data are validated according to the statistical production process in two stages. Statistics Finland’s data collection unit is responsible for checking the unit-level data of the balance of payments’ own data collections. The checked data are delivered to the balance of payments system for analysis purposes. As a rule, the data obtained from the external sources of the balance of payments and international investment position are ready for analysis so the revision stage is not performed.

Each set of source data is analysed on an aggregated level. After this, the approved source data are combined and analysed as a whole. If deviating changes or values are detected during the analysis stage, the reason for them is determined and the deviation in question is returned to the unit-level check if necessary.

During both stages of the review, Statistics Finland ensures consistency with other available statistical data both on the unit level and on the publication level.
 

Principles and outlines

Contact organisation

Tilastokeskus

Contact organisation unit

Economic Statistics

Legal acts and other agreements

The compilation of statistics is guided by the Statistics Act. The Statistics Act contains provisions on collection of data, processing of data and the obligation to provide data. Besides the Statistics Act, the Data Protection Act and the Act on the Openness of Government Activities are applied to processing of data when producing statistics. 

Statistics Finland compiles statistics in line with the EU’s regulations applicable to statistics, which steer the statistical agencies of all EU Member States.  

Further information: Statistical legislation 

The statistics compilation is based on Regulation (EC) No 184/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council on Community statistics concerning balance of payments, international trade in services and foreign direct investments. The compilation complies with the recommendations of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) balance of payments manual (Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Manual, 6th ed. [BPM6]) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) manual on foreign direct investments (Benchmark Definition of Foreign Direct Investment, 4th ed. [BD4]).

The data for the statistics on foreign direct investments are delivered at aggregate level following the confidentiality principle to Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities, the OECD, the IMF and the UN. The organisations publish the data of the statistics in several printed and Internet publications.

Confidentiality - policy

The data protection of data collected for statistical purposes is guaranteed in accordance with the requirements of the Statistics Act (280/2004), the Act on the Openness of Government Activities (621/1999), the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 and the Data Protection Act (1050/2018). The data materials are protected at all stages of processing with the necessary physical and technical solutions. Statistics Finland has compiled detailed directions and instructions for confidential processing of the data. Employees have access only to the data essential for their duties. The premises where unit-level data are processed are not accessible to outsiders. Members of the personnel have signed a pledge of secrecy upon entering the service. Violation of data protection is punishable. 

Further information: Data protection | Statistics Finland (stat.fi)

Confidentiality - data treatment

The data materials are protected at all stages of processing with the necessary physical and technical solutions. The unit-specific data of the calculation data must be kept confidential.

Data are handled only by persons who need the data in their work. The use of data is restricted by usage rights. The aggregation of data in the process, the compilation time evaluation related to data quality, detailed prioritisation of sources and measures related to total level balancing produce an end result that does not enable the identification of individual data producers.

The basic publications of balance of payments and international investment position follow Statistics Finland's official guidelines on the protection of tabulated personal and enterprise data based on the principles of statistical ethics and legislation. The key guideline in data protection activities is to avoid publishing statistical data in a form from which an individual person or enterprise can be identified.

The statistics do not contain data decreed public by law at unit level, so the disclosure risk must be taken into account when compiling tables.

The threshold and dominance criteria are used when assessing the disclosure risk. The threshold criterion is based on data obtained directly from enterprises or imputed data. According to the rule, the data of a cell must be protected if the cell comprises a lower number of observations than the threshold value. In the dominance criterion, data are protected if the sum of the data of the main data suppliers does not differ sufficiently from the published data.

Data on protected cells are not published but suppressed. The rules are used for primary and secondary suppression. In primary suppression an individual cell is protected by suppression if the group value is based on under three observations or the data on an individual enterprise do not differ sufficiently from the published value. Secondary suppression is performed so that the contents of the cell to be protected cannot be calculated using the values of other cells.

All persons compiling the balance of payments and international investment position have signed a pledge of secrecy, where they have obliged to keep secret the data prescribed as confidential by virtue of the Statistics Act or the Act on the Openness of Government Activities.

Release policy

Statistics Finland publishes new statistical data at 8 am on weekdays in its web service. The release times of statistics are given in advance in the release calendar available in the web service. The data are public after they have been updated in the web service. 

Further information: Publication principles for statistics at Statistics Finland

Data sharing

The data for the statistics on foreign direct investments are delivered at aggregate level following the confidentiality principle to Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities, the OECD, the IMF and the UN. The organisations publish the data of the statistics in several printed and Internet publications.

Accessibility and clarity

Statistical data are published as database tables in the StatFin database. The database is the primary publishing site of data, and new data are updated first there. When releasing statistical data, existing database tables can be updated with new data or completely new database tables can be published.

In addition to statistical data published in the StatFin database, a release on the key data is usually published in the web service. If the release contains data concerning several reference periods (e.g. monthly and annual data), a review bringing together these data is published in the web service. Database tables updated at the time of publication are listed both in the release and in the review. In some cases, statistical data can also be published as mere database releases in the StatFin database. No release or review is published in connection with these database releases.

Releases and database tables are published in three languages, in Finnish, Swedish and English. The language versions of releases may have more limited content than in Finnish.   
Information about changes in the publication schedules of releases and database tables and about corrections are given as change releases in the web service.

Data revision - policy

Revisions – i.e. improvements in the accuracy of statistical data already published – are a normal feature of statistical production and result in improved quality of statistics. The principle is that statistical data are based on the best available data and information concerning the statistical phenomenon. On the other hand, the revisions are communicated as transparently as possible in advance. Advance communication ensures that the users can prepare for the data revisions. 
 
The reason why data in statistical releases become revised is often caused by the data becoming supplemented. Then the new, revised statistical figure is based on a wider information basis and describes the phenomenon more accurately than before. 
 
Revisions of statistical data may also be caused by the calculation method used, such as annual benchmarking or updating of weight structures. Changes of base years and used classifications may also cause revisions to data. 

Quality assessment

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF) are a comprehensive collection of statistics describing the development and state of society. They comprise nearly 300 sets of statistics on 26 different topics. The producers of Official Statistics of Finland have approved a common quality assurance in which they commit to common quality criteria and quality assurance measures. The quality criteria of Official Statistics of Finland are compatible with the European Statistics Code of Practice. The good practices followed in the statistics are presented in Statistics Finland’s Quality Guidelines for Official Statistics handbook.

Quality assurance

Quality management requires comprehensive guidance of activities. The quality management framework of the field of statistics is the European Statistics Code of Practice (CoP). The quality criteria of Official Statistics of Finland are compatible with the European Statistics Code of Practice. 

Further information: Quality management | Statistics Finland (stat.fi) 

User access

Data are released to all users at the same time. Statistical data may only be handled at Statistics Finland and information on them may be given before release only by persons involved in the production of the statistics concerned or who need the data of the statistics concerned in their own work before the data are published. 
 
Further information: Publication principles for statistics 
 
Unless otherwise separately stated in connection with the product, data or service concerned, Statistics Finland is the producer of the data and the owner of the copyright. The terms of use for statistical data.

Statistical experts

Petri Kinnarinen
Senior Statistician
029 551 3428

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