Coronavirus Q&A

Mirko Hurmerinta

The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is causing concern and turbulence around the world affecting the economy, financial markets and everyone’s daily life. Sampo plc and its subsidiaries monitor the situation closely and have taken actions to protect its personnel, customers and other stakeholders while continuing its businesses as normally as possible in these exceptional circumstances.

Our shareholders are naturally concerned about the possible effects of the coronavirus on Sampo Group and we have received lots of questions. In this blog entry we try to clarify the exposures to the coronavirus and the mechanics of the possible effects. However, it is important to note that due to the nature of the Group’s businesses and wide geographical presence in the Nordics, it is not possible to give detailed estimates or a firm view at this stage as the situation changes and evolves very fast.

This blog entry was published on 26 March 2020 and is based on information and views of the possible effects of the corona virus at the time of publishing. All the pictures are from materials published at, except the simplified graph that illustrates Nordea’s effect on Sampo’s solvency.

How does the coronavirus affect Sampo Group?

With its investment portfolio of EUR 21.8 billion at the end of 2019, Sampo Group has a major exposure to the equity and bond markets. Thus, the market turmoil caused by the coronavirus is significantly impacting Sampo through its investments.


Picture from the Q4/2019 Supplementary Financial Information Package

The effects of market movements on Sampo’s investments are described in the sensitivity analysis below.


Picture from the Q4/2019 Supplementary Financial Information Package

Has Sampo invested in the oil and gas sector or leisure sector?

At the end of 2019, Sampo Group’s investments in the energy sector amounted to EUR 226 million. Of that, the share of oil and gas sector was roughly EUR 150 million, of which largely in bonds. Sampo’s exposure to airlines and other leisure sector is very limited.

Sampo’s exposures by sector, asset class and rating are specified in the table below.


Picture from the Board of Directors’ Report and Financial Statements 2019

How do the value changes in investments affect Sampo’s solvency?

The impacts of different scenarios on the Group’s solvency are described in the sensitivity analysis below. Nordea shares are included in this analysis.


Picture from the Q4/2019 Supplementary Financial Information Package

How do the changes in Nordea’s share price affect Sampo’s solvency?

In the Group’s solvency calculations, Nordea is treated as a normal equity investment. Thus, the changes in Nordea’s share price affect solvency. Nordea is included in the sensitivity analysis above.

The simplified graph below illustrates the impact of Nordea’s share price movements on Sampo’s solvency from the end of 2019, if all other factors remain unchanged and symmetric adjustments are not taken into account.


How does the coronavirus affect If’s insurance business?

As mentioned above, the most significant impact comes from the equity and bond markets. For insurance business, it is not possible to give detailed estimates at this stage because the whole coronavirus situation changes and evolves day by day.

On the private customer side, claims related to travel insurances obviously increase if flights get suddenly cancelled and people need hospitalization abroad. For If, travel insurance is not a very significant business line.

The coronavirus spreading in the Nordics may affect health insurances as well, although the public healthcare system carries the heaviest burden. For If, health insurance is a fairly small business line.

On the corporate side, the coronavirus may cause claims pressure for example through business interruption insurances depending on the cause of the interruption and how comprehensive insurance the customer has bought. Since the terms and conditions vary between countries, sectors and customers, it is not possible to estimate the total impact for If at this stage.

However, for some insurance products, the coronavirus may have a positive short-term effect on results due to lower number of claims. For example, within motor insurance, the claims usually decrease if there is less traffic on the road.

More information about the effects of coronavirus on insurances can be found at If’s website.

How does the coronavirus affect Mandatum Life’s business?

The market turmoil naturally affects Mandatum Life’s investments and solvency.

Within personal risk insurance, the impact on the number of claims is not likely to be significant. In the field of wealth management, drastic market movements increase clients’ interest to contact and talk about their investments and possible actions.

On the corporate side, new deals are being made but the risk of delays in payments from some customers has increased as many companies face challenges during in these exceptional circumstances.

How does the coronavirus affect Topdanmark’s insurance business?

Topdanmark published a stock exchange release about the effects of the coronavirus on 23 March 2020.

How does the coronavirus affect the daily work of Sampo Group’s personnel?

As recommended by the authorities, the personnel of both Sampo plc and the Group’s subsidiaries work from home as much as possible in order to protect the health of personnel, customers and other stakeholders. Otherwise, all operations continue normally despite these exceptional circumstances.

How is Sampo prepared for members of the management, board or other key employees to become infected by the coronavirus?

Sampo Group has a continuity plan to ensure the continuity of operations in the event of exceptional and crisis situations.

How does the coronavirus affect Sampo’s Annual General Meeting?

On 25 March 2020, Sampo decided to postpone the Annual General Meeting scheduled to be held on 23 April 2020. Sampo now intends to hold the Annual General Meeting on 2 June 2020. Notice to the Annual General Meetings will be published in May.

Photo: Mirko Hurmerinta, Sampo
Mirko HurmerintaIR and Communications Specialist, Sampo plc