Oil fund sets new record as new chief looms

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 […]

Norway is ‘not as rich as it thinks’

Norway’s central bank chief made some economically sobering remarks in his closely watched annual address to the country’s elite Thursday evening. Even though the Norwegian economy remains strong, he stressed that trade deficits are rising, the country’s krone is historically weak, and politicians are leaning too heavily on Norway’s so-called Oil Fund meant to fund […]

Oil Fund under new political pressure

Norway’s huge Oil Fund is often used as the country’s politically correct investor abroad. Now several Norwegian politicians want to also use it as a “political tool” at home to promote climate measures, over the strong objections of the Conservatives’ Prime Minister Erna Solberg. She calls any such efforts “dangerous.” Debate over how to best exploit the […]

Oil Fund milestone fuels rare praise

Even critical Norwegian newspapers had praise for Norwegian politicians over the weekend, after the country’s enormous Oil Fund broke yet another record. “Congratulations!” editorialized Aftenposten, as the fund’s market value surpassed the dizzying figure equivalent to NOK 10,000 billion. The praise was doled out in several directions but first and foremost to the broad majority […]

Jensen defends her use of oil money

Finance Minister Siv Jensen has had to fend off lots of criticism since unveiling Norway’s revised state budget for this year. Her decision to dip NOK 7 billion deeper into the country’s huge Oil Fund fueled claims that interest rates are now more likely to rise for a third time later this year, but Jensen […]

Oil Fund ‘sell-off’ sends mixed signals

NEWS ANALYSIS: Political intrigue fueled the Norwegian government’s decision just before the weekend to sell off stock in companies devoted to oil exploration and production. The decision grabbed lots of attention it may not have deserved, and sends mixed signals about how top Norwegian politicians evaluate the risks of being as involved in the oil […]

Central bank chief backs oil industry

NEWS ANALYSIS: Norway’s oil industry and its supportive Norwegian government have won backing from the country’s central bank chief to keep on pumping and looking for more offshore oil and gas reserves. In an annual and much-followed speech Thursday evening, Øystein Olsen also opted against commenting on how the government spends Norway’s oil revenues, for […]

Frigate bill spurs new Oil Fund debate

Defense Minister Frank Bakke-Jensen told Parliament on Tuesday that attempts to raise the sunken frigate KNM Helge Ingstad will start Thursday and already have cost around a half-billion kroner. Within a half-hour of his speech came word of more salvage delays, while debate is swirling over government plans to dip into the country’s Oil Fund […]

Revised budget taps less from Oil Fund

Finance Minister Siv Jensen has long wanted to invest more of Norway’s oil revenues at home, in everything from better roads to more nursing homes, instead of in stock markets abroad. She’s nonetheless going along with plans to tap the country’s huge Oil Fund for even less than the conservative government coalition projected in its […]

Ministry delays decision on Oil Fund investing

Finance Minister Siv Jensen doesn’t want Norway’s huge sovereign Oil Fund to invest in unlisted shares, but her ministry is still evaluating whether it could invest in so-called “unlisted infrastructure” such as solar energy parks or windmills projects, bridges, airports and hydroelectric plants. The ruling Conservative Party, with which Jensen’s Progress Party shares government power, […]