Norway’s richest lose billions during corona crisis: “Dramatic”

Petter StordalenPhoto: Terje Pedersen / NTB
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Kapital magazine’s annual list of Norway’s 400 wealthiest people shows that many of them have suffered losses due to the corona crisis. However, some managed to profit during the period.

“This year, the list is more dramatic than ever. We are talking about gigantic values being ​​lost. At the same time, enormous values are being ​​created,” Kapital editor Vibeke Holth said in a press release to news bureau NTB.

She stated that there has never been a greater decline in wealth in the list’s 30-year history than in 2020.

According to the list, John Fredriksen is Norway’s richest man, followed by Odd Reitan and Johan Johannson, who both own food groups.

Both of the latter two’s fortunes have increased over the past year, according to Kapital, which emphasizes that the list is not the final version.

Tourism fortunes take a hit

Among those hard hit by the corona crisis is the river cruise king Torstein Hagen in Viking Cruises.

Last year, Hagen was ranked as Norway’s second richest man, with a fortune of NOK 60 billion.

However, since the pandemic outbreak, his fortune has been reduced by around NOK 40 billion, according to Kapital.

Petter Stordalen’s fortune, which stems from Nordic Choice Hotels, Hurtigruten, and Ving, has shrunk by more than NOK 10 billion.

The “hotel king” admitted to the magazine that his good relationship with DNB has been important during this period.

Color Line owner Olav Nils Sunde’s fortune has also been reduced by NOK 4.25 billion.

Per G. Braathen, who owns the Swedish airline BRA, Kristiansand Dyrepark, and the travel agency chain Ticket, had his fortune reduced by NOK 1 billion.

Food magnates make gains

But some have also made money.

Orkla owner Stein Erik Hagen has become NOK 5 billion richer since last year and now has a fortune of NOK 33 billion.

“Some parts (of the business) have done very well. Other companies are, of course, affected by the pandemic. But the large companies have seen positive developments,” Hagen told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK).

Rema owner Odd Reitan and Norgesgruppen owner Johan Johannson increased their fortunes by NOK 1.9 billion and NOK 4 billion, respectively, according to Kapital.

Differences between industries

The list on Kapital’s website shows that despite considerable losses in tourism, shipping, oil, and energy, the value-adjusted return on the total wealth of Norway’s 400 richest has only fallen by 0.52%.

Industries such as real estate, finance, and trade have done well, and the main index on the Oslo Stock Exchange has risen above 35% since the lowest level in March.

According to Kapital, ​​the wealth of Norway’s wealthiest people is far higher than what is stated in the tax lists.

According to the tax lists, the country’s wealthiest people are worth NOK 316 billion, while Kapital believes their real wealth is around four times as high.

A total of 51 out of the 400 people on the list are women.

The most wealthy Norwegian among the women is Ruth K. Mustad Bevreng.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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