‘Winter is coming,’ warns bank chief

Norway’s central bank chief Øystein Olsen engaged in what one local commentator dubbed as his own “Game of Krones” on Thursday evening, when he unveiled a relatively gloomy forecast for the Norwegian economy. Olsen stressed that after 15 years of economic upturn and “an exceptionally long summer, winter is now coming,” but it may not drag on. “It […]

Central banker draws the elite

Øystein Olsen, governor of Norway’s central bank, was once again drawing the country’s financial and politial elite to the headquarters of Norges Bank Thursday evening. They were invited to listen to his annual address that carries on a tradition begun in 1922, before they all adjourned for an equally traditional banquet at the Grand Hotel. The […]

Central bank defies predictions again

The board of Norway’s central bank once again defied the predictions of economists and analysts by refusing on Thursday to further reduce its already record-low key lending rate. A cut had been widely expected as a means of easing an ever-more visible slowdown in the Norwegian economy. Øystein Olsen, governor of Norges Bank, nonetheless announced that the bank’s executive board had decided […]

No cut in rates, krone rebounds

UPDATED: Norway’s central bank defied the expectations of analysts and economists on Thursday, with its board opting against another cut in its key lending rate. Norway’s currency, the krone, immediately strengthened, reversing a decline that had been going on all week. Economists were surprised, and not pleased. “This is a catastrophe!” Knut Anton Mork, chief economist […]

Central banker sleeps well

Øystein Olsen, governor of Norway’s central bank, could finally relax a bit over the weekend after delivering the annual address that’s among the most closely followed in the country. The affable central banker also has had to deal with a string of new economic challenges lately, but says he still sleeps well at night. For the second year in a row, […]

Oil fund boss mulls unlisted investments

Norway’s oil fund, where oil profits are stashed to help fund Norwegians’ pensions in the future, isn’t allowed to invest in companies that aren’t stocklisted or in the process of being listed. The fund’s boss has recently questioned that strategy, and seemed open to investing in companies long before they list on a stock exchange. “The […]

New currency gets some rave reviews

It’s already been called “the world’s best-looking cash.” Norway’s central bank (Norges Bank) held an unusually harmonious design competition earlier this year that’s resulted in two winners who will share the front and back of a new series of colorful banknotes all denoting Norway’s long maritime heritage. The actual theme that designers were asked to communicate in their […]

Oil fund boss reveals own holdings

Yngve Slyngstad, the head of Norway’s huge sovereign wealth fund that’s fueled by the state’s oil revenues, has revealed under pressure that he personally holds stakes in 14 companies that the fund invests in as well. Slyngstad disclosed his personal holdings after Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) had reported that he had a bloc of stock in Norwegian […]

Weaker krone hits holiday makers

July is typically the time when many Norwegians head abroad, seeking sun and relaxation in warmer, cheaper southern European countries. This summer’s holiday may be the most expensive in years, though, after a downturn in oil investments and the likelihood of extended low interest rates drove a 5 percent drop in the Norwegian krone against the euro in […]

Low interest rates to offset oil losses

NEWS ANALYSIS: The Norwegian central bank’s decision this week to keep interest rates low is rooted in a sobering but now widespread prediction for the Norwegian economy: After years of robust growth fueled by high oil prices and abundant gas, investment in those valuable offshore resources is likely to take a dive. Some analysts and […]