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Election time for Europe

Time to Choose

Written by Nik Rainer | 5 minutes
28 European countries will go to the polls at the end of May and on Thursday 23 May the polling stations in the Netherlands will also open for the European Parliament elections. A good reason to agree on the ways in which you can choose to invest in Europe.
Many private investors invest their money mainly in Dutch funds and shares, with the United States as the close second. Europe is less popular as a separate investment, yet there are dozens of opportunities to invest in a very focused way on the continent through the Fundcoach range. This way you can invest in Europe or one of the countries of the European Union.
Investing in Europe is possible in the European Union as a whole, but you can also choose to do this in one or more countries of your choice through special ETFs and investment funds. In view of the Brexit discussion, of course, investing in the United Kingdom - or not - can be a deliberate choice.
Below I will walk through the most important EU countries for you and list a number of options. Often these are investments that are regularly selected by Fundcoach customers, but it is wise that you also read the accompanying information about the funds before you invest in them.
Let's take a look at the large neighboring and economically strongest EU country. Many BinckBank customers invest in well-known German companies such as Bayer, Deutsche Bank and BMW. But that is also possible, for example, by investing in Deutsche Invest I German Equities, an investment fund that invests in large German companies. SAP, Allianz and Siemens are currently the fund's most important participations.
The opinions of economists and investors have been divided for years about the other political EU superpower of the first, France. A country with growth potential, but also a member state where economic reforms are difficult to achieve. A fund that is specifically focused on the French market is the Fidelity France Fund. This fund invests directly in French stocks with an emphasis on consumer products.
Since the last elections, Italy has been the scene of political arguments with Brussels and uncertainty about the budget and economy. The Fidelity Italy Fund invests in well-known Italian companies such as Enel, Eni and UniCredit. The financial and energy sector accounts for half of the invested capital.
In Spain and Portugal, the economy has become a lot calmer after the blows that both countries received during the financial crisis. However, the independence wishes within Catalonia remain a sensitive subject. If you want to invest in both countries, you can do so via the Fidelity Iberia Fund, which participates in Spanish and Portuguese companies such as Iberdrola and Sara-parent company Inditex.
The relationship between Brussels and a number of mid-European member states has been rough in recent years on issues such as freedom of the press and immigration policy, in particular with those in Hungary and Poland. But economic growth is still above the EU average. Investing in the region is also possible via the iShares MSCI East-Europe. However, a large part is also invested in Russia.
If you look a little further towards southeast Europe, the Balkans come into view, with member states such as Croatia, Romania and Slovenia. You can invest in this region through the East Capital Balkan Fund, which also invests part of its assets in Greece and Turkey.
If you prefer to go higher up in the Scandinavian region, which is also loved by a number of investors, you can invest in this region through the Fidelity Nordic Fund. In addition to investments in Sweden, Finland and Denmark, you will also receive a piece of Norwegian business. The fund focuses on industrial companies and companies in the energy sector.
Bordering Scandinavia, but with a different dynamic and European history, the three Baltic states now belong to the euro zone. Through the East Capital Baltic Fund you invest in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania with an emphasis on the financial and telecom sector.
Well, and then of course there is also the United Kingdom. The country that has wanted to break away from the EU since the 2016 referendum, but has failed to do so due to internal political disputes. For investors, the Brexit has been an uncertain factor and jammer for more than two years, and will continue to dominate the news in the coming months.
So here are two options for investing. A fund focused specifically on business in the United Kingdom - the Fidelity United Kingdom Fund - and a European investment vehicle that excludes the country from your portfolio: iShares MSCI Europe ex-UK UCITS ETF.
Depending on your own feeling about the Brexit - the outcome and economic consequences - you can make a choice yourself.

For smaller economies such as Austria, Ireland, Luxembourg, Malta or Cyprus, the supply of specific funds is limited. As well as for neighboring Belgium, of which companies such as AB Inbev and Fagron are popular among equity investors.
But are you not at all looking for a single EU country to invest in and would you rather spread your euros across the entire European Union? This is of course also possible. Below you will find the two most popular

Europe funds (ETFs and investment funds) among Fundcoach customers:
Most popular European investment funds (based on invested capital):
NN European Participation Fund
Kempen European High Dividend Fund
Most popular European ETFs (based on invested capital):
Think European Equity UCITS ETF

If you go for an investment in one or more European countries, it is not only wise to go through the information of the fund in question, but you may also want to delve more deeply into the economy of the country.

Reports on this are regularly published by organizations such as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The author has no position in the funds mentioned above.
Investing involves risks. Your investment may be worth less.


Nik Rainer

Nik joined BinckBank in 2016 as part of the team responsible for rolling out the Saxo Bank international service. Nik has held positions at various banking institutions such as Hambros Merchant Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and Morgan Stanley and brings his solid financial background to the role. Working with the development of new client services and relationship management, Nik also contributes to local publications and forums.

The information in this article should not be interpreted as individual investment advice.  Although BinckBank compiles and maintains these pages from reliable sources, BinckBank cannot guarantee that the information is accurate, complete and up-to-date. Any information used from this article without prior verification or advice, is at your own risk.  We advise that you only invest in products that fit your knowledge and experience and do not invest in financial instruments where you do not understand the risks. 

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