Bank boss had to alter annual address

Norway’s central bank boss Øystein Olsen had to make some last-minute changes in his important annual address on the economy Thursday evening. Just hours before he took the podium, government leaders announced they were finally going along with something he’s recommended for years: putting new limits on the use of Norway’s oil revenues. Olsen, governor of […]

Government reins in Oil Fund use

Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Finance Minister Siv Jensen, who have transferred more money from Norway’s Oil Fund to the state budget than any of their predecessors, now propose tying such withdrawals in the future to “more realistic,” and lower, expected returns. That can further limit the use of Norway’s oil revenues, and they also want to […]

Oil Fund may invest more in stocks

Norway’s huge sovereign wealth fund, known as the Oil Fund, wants to start investing more of the oil revenues it receives in the stock market, to boost returns. Norway’s central bank, which is responsible for the fund, is seeking permission to do so from the finance ministry. The Oil Fund currently invests 60 percent of its […]

Oil can’t grease many more budgets

With less money flowing into state coffers from Norway’s offshore oil fields, and the return on that money reduced as well, even Finance Minister Siv Jensen is warning that her record withdrawals from the Oil Fund will likely be the last. She justifies tapping into the country’s famed sovereign wealth fund again this year, to revive economic slowdown after the […]

Oil Fund celebrates its first 20 years

Øystein Olsen has a lot to celebrate this week. He beat out all competition to keep his job as Norway’s central bank chief for another six years, and then could celebrate the 20th anniversary on Tuesday of arguably the bank’s most important operation that’s made Norway a financial powerhouse worldwide. It was on May 31, 1996 that Norway’s Finance […]

Oil Fund wielded its clout over bank executives’ pay

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund known as the Oil Fund has followed through on its decision to start using its clout, as a shareholder in major companies around the world, to oppose huge executive pay packages. Newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reported that it was part of voting down bonus packages last week, for example, for the […]

Rates firm as critics bash oil fund use

The executive board of Norway’s central bank has decided, as expected, to keep its key policy rate unchanged at 0.5 percent. Øystein Olsen, governor of Norges Bank, cited a lack of “substantial deviation” from economic projections, just as a chorus of other critics wailed that the Norwegian government is using far too much of the country’s […]

Oil Fund may challenge high executive pay

Norway’s huge and powerful sovereign wealth fund may finally start wielding its investment clout to challenge the exhorbitant salaries paid to top corporate executives. It remains unclear, however, how many tens of millions of dollars or pounds an executive can be paid before the so-called Oil Fund votes against it. It was only a few weeks ago that […]

Oil fund tapped as Goliat field opens

Norway could finally carry out the ceremonial opening of its first oil field in the Barents Sea this week. The long-overdue Goliat oil field project has begun pumping up Arctic oil, just after Finance Minister Siv Jensen had to make another withdrawal from Norway’s oil fund, the state pension fund that’s been fueled over the past 20 years by oil […]

Oil fund avoided big coal bankruptcy

When the large US coal company Peabody Energy Corp declared bankruptcy last week, Norway’s huge state pension fund that’s fueled by oil revenues didn’t take any losses. It sold out of Peabody even before the Norwegian Parliament ordered the fund to dump coal stock. Norway’s oil fund had already, at its own initiative, sold out […]