Industrial firms step on the brakes

Investment in Norwegian industry has all but screeched to a halt in recent months. State statistics bureau SSB predicts investment next year will be even lower than it’s been this year. Venerable industrial concern Norsk Hydro is among those planning more cost cuts and layoffs. Hydro held its Capital Markets Days this week, to tell […]

Suddenly, some signs of pessimism

Norway has so far seemed relatively unscathed by the global finance crisis but a new report throws cold water on the country’s economic outlook. Suddenly one in three industrial firms is planning to cut staffing after New Year, and Norwegian business leaders are much more pessimistic than they were last summer. More than 2,200 companies […]

Tougher times hurt 'julebord' season

The traditional Norwegian julebord , a lavish pre-Christmas party often hosted by companies for their employees, seems to be dying out this year. Layoffs and tight budgets are putting a damper on holiday cheer, with several companies cancelling their parties altogether. ICA, the large grocery store chain, announced late last week that it was cancelling […]

More signs of business upturn

The Norwegian government believes the global financial crisis is not over, and intends to spend its way out of it. Norway’s business community, however, is growing increasingly optimistic and thinks the economy is turning around. A new business cycle barometer set off plenty of good signals this week. Finance Minister Kristin Halvorsen proposed a budget […]

Losses cut deeply into ‘Oil Fund’

Norway’s so-called “Oil Fund,” fueled for years by windfall oil profits and booming stock markets, has reported huge losses that cut its total value by a whopping NOK 633 billion (around USD 90 billion). The losses have set off a storm of criticism against the fund’s managers. No one complained when the fund’s managers raked […]

Business hopes dive as prospects worsen

Norway’s oil-fuelled economy has been holding up better than most countries’, but some top executives are getting increasingly worried. “Prospects have grown dramatically worse in the last quarter,” says the outgoing CEO of Norsk Hydro, one of Norway’s biggest companies. Eivind Reiten, who announced Monday that he was resigning after eight years at the helm […]

State hands over crisis package to banking industry

The Norwegian government has forked up NOK 100 billion (about USD 14 billion) to boost the liquidity of local banks and stimulate crisis-hit credit markets. Finance Minister Kristin Halvorsen, however, has made it clear that the fresh funds have some strings attached. “It’s entirely reasonable to make some demands regarding executive salaries and dividend payments,” […]