Norway’s Oil Fund believes that its investments in Russia could become almost worthless

Nicolai TangenPhoto: Stian Lysberg Solum / NTB
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The Oil Fund estimates that the value of its Russian investments has fallen from NOK 27.4 billion to NOK 2.5 billion. Now they believe that the shares may become worthless.

“At the beginning of the year, we had investments of NOK 27.4 billion in Russia. We now estimate that these investments are worth approximately NOK 2.5 billion, but this is a very uncertain figure,” the Oil Fund’s head Nicolai Tangen said on Thursday.

On Thursday, Norges Bank presented its report on the management of the Government Pension Fund Global, the so-called Oil Fund, in 2021.

During the presentation, the management of the Oil Fund was asked about the situation regarding the fund’s investments in Russia. On Sunday, the government ordered the Oil Fund to stop all purchases and sales of stakes in Russia as a result of the country’s invasion of Ukraine. The fund has also been asked to divest Russian investments in the long run.

At the turn of the year, NOK 8.2 billion of investments in Russia were in the gas company Gazprom, while NOK 6.1 billion was in the country’s largest bank Sberbank.

“Stakes may become worthless”

The value of Russian stakes has fallen sharply after a number of countries imposed sanctions on the country. The Moscow Stock Exchange has also been closed this week.

“Russian stakes may eventually become almost worthless,” the Oil Fund’s deputy manager Trond Grande said.

0.2% of the fund affected

By March 15, the fund will respond to the government on how they plan to exit the fund’s investments in Russia. At the press conference on Thursday, Grande said that the details of this plan would probably not be published.

The Oil Fund began investing in Russia in 2008, but the Russian investments make up only a small part of the giant Oil Fund. 

At the turn of the year, when the value of the Russian investments was NOK 27.4 billion, these investments amounted to 0.2% of the fund.

Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayFinance

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