Norway may ditch oil shares from the oil fund
The timing of the publication by Minister of Finance, Siv Jensen (Progress Party), may indicate that the Government will ban oil shares from being in the Norwegian oil fund, reports Dagens Næringsliv (DN).
Dagens Næringsliv writes that Jensen will hold a press conference at a quarter past noon on Friday. She will clarify whether the Government has chosen to ban oil and gas shares in the benchmark index of the Government Pension Fund Global – aka the Norwegian oil fund.
The fiscal policymakers of the parties in the Norwegian Parliament have been notified by the political leadership of the Ministry of Finance that no comments will be made, regarding the Government’s decision, before the press conference. The reason for the secrecy is that the information is stock-sensitive.
The announcement is made two hours before the Leader of the Liberals, Trine Skei Grande, enters the pulpit in order to kick off the National Convention. The party is a driving force for reducing the oil fund’s involvement in gas and oil shares. One source DN has spoken to, strongly believes that the connection between the announcement and the gathering, suggests that the party has been heard by the coalition.
The Liberals have achieved a victory
“If the Government has decided to go against the wishes of the Liberals, it would be strange if Siv Jensen were to announce that just before Trine Skei Grande enters to the pulpit. The very last thing that she needs now – is a political defeat,” the source tells the newspaper.
Against the advice of Norges Bank from August last year, the Energy Share Committee, led by NHO Deputy Leader, Øystein Thøgersen, concluded that the oil fund should still own shares in energy companies. It was, Among other points, highlighted that only a small portion of the fund’s investments, about 4 per cent, are invested in energy shares.
In February, the Government Pension Fund Global had a value of about NOK 8.6 trillion. The fund has invested in more than 9,000 companies in 72 countries. It owns 1.4 per cent of the total worth of the world’s listed companies.
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today