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New Norway gov to steer oil fund to new markets

Richard Orange · 8 Oct 2013, 08:53

Published: 08 Oct 2013 08:53 GMT+02:00

"The government will establish a program of investment in the fund…aiming to invest in sustainable companies and projects in developing countries and emerging markets," the new government wrote in a 70-page political platform document published on Monday.  
 
"The government will also consider establishing a separate mandate for renewable energy." 
 
Norway's Government Pension Fund -- commonly referred to as the Oil Fund -- was launched in 1998 to channel the country's oil revenues into a vast investment fund, which is intended to provide the country with a perpetual income. 
 
The decision to change the fund's investment strategy was welcomed by Sony Kapoor, the Managing Director of the Re-Define Europe think-tank, which proposed very similar changes in a report earlier this year. 
 
“It is a signal that the limitations of the previous strategy of investing mainly in OECD countries have been recognised, and change will now go in the right direction,” he told the FT newspaper. “Change will probably be slow, but it is a first step.”
 
The new strategy closely matches the proposals of a report  issued earlier this year by the think-tank Re-Define Europe, which criticised the "sclerotic" 3.17 percent return the fund has achieved since it was launched in 1998, arguing that this was a consequence of the decision to invest in "slow-growing mature economies". 
 
Story continues below…
The Progress Party does not however appear to have won the backing of its coalition partner for its proposal to loosen the four percent rule governing how much of Norway's oil money can go on government spending. 
 
 
 

Richard Orange (richard.orange@thelocal.com)

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