Around 40 per cent of the stock values on the Oslo Stock Exchange are owned by foreign investors. The government is proposing new rules for increased transparency about these shareholders.
All public limited companies (ASA) and limited companies (AS) with trustee-registered shares should publish information about their shareholders, the Government proposes, among other things.
This includes owners of trustee-registered shares. In addition, listed companies should publish an overview of the shareholders attending the general meeting.
“The new proposals provide greater transparency about foreign investors as shareholders. Here we are talking about big sums. The market value of shares owned by foreigners on the Oslo Stock Exchange is currently more than NOK 1,000 billion,” says Minister of Trade and Industry Torbjørn Røe Isaksen (Høyre/Conservative Party).
Today, many foreign investors own shares in Norwegian companies through trustees. A bank or similar is then listed as the trustee of the shares. The company itself does not have direct access to information about who is the owner, but can ask the trustee.
In practice, this information has been difficult to obtain. Trustee registration is very common in many countries, but in Norway is only allowed for foreign shareholders.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today