Oil fund sets new record as new chief looms

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Norway’s so-called “Oil Fund,” fueled with oil revenues over the past 20 years, chalked up its best year ever last year, boosting its value by another NOK 1,692 billion. The results allow Oil Fund chief Yngve Slyngstad, who has signalled his looming resignation to take on other duties at Norges Bank, to go out on a high note.

Some of the dizzying values were being wiped out in the current stock market dives around the world tied to concerns over the Corona virus, but that can’t detract from the accomplishments of 2019. The Oil Fund’s balance at the end of the year translates into nearly NOK 1.9 million per Norwegian resident.

“2019 was a very good year for the fund,” Slyngstad said when releasing year-end results. Strong earnings will also, he noted, “be important for our future investments.”

Øystein Olsen, governor of the central bank that’s responsible for the fund, thanked Slyngstad for his contribution over the past 12 years. Slyngstad’s deputy leader at Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), Trond Grande, emerged this week as the top candidate to succeed him when the central bank released its list of applicants for the job.

Newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) reported that most of the other applicants, all men, are viewed as unqualified. The 49-year-old Grande, however, has worked as a risk specialist at NBIM since 2007. Grande previously was a senior vice president for finance and risk management at Storebrand Kapitalforvaltning in Oslo and holds degrees from Norwegian business school NHH and ESADE in Barcelona with a specialty in international leadership.

newsinenglish.no staff

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story also cited DN as reporting that a local bank executive was among applicants but had asked to remain anonymous. DN has since run a correction, after Norges Bank said the bank executive was not the anonymous applicant.