News / Asia

Norway Oil Fund to Invest More in China

(FILE) The Troll A, gas platform run by the Norwegian oil giant Statoil company, standing above the North Sea, about 70 kilometers off the coast of Norway.
(FILE) The Troll A, gas platform run by the Norwegian oil giant Statoil company, standing above the North Sea, about 70 kilometers off the coast of Norway.
Reuters
— Norway's $810 billion sovereign wealth fund, one of the world's biggest investors, will increase its investments in China by 50 percent to $1.5 billion and would like to do even more, its chief executive told Reuters.
 
The head of the fund, a major investor in Google, Starbucks and Apple, also said on Friday he would not take up the issue of tax avoidance with the firms it invests in, despite the fund's ethical profile.
 
The fund, which invests Norway's vast surplus of oil money, is the world's richest sovereign wealth fund and holds about 1 percent of all global equities.
 
It has been shifting away from European assets towards Asia and emerging markets to seek higher returns. Investing in the world's second-largest economy is a key part of that strategy.
 
But until recently it was only allowed to invest up to $1 billion in China. This has now increased to $1.5 billion.
 
“We want to invest considerably more in the Chinese market,” Yngve Slyngstad said in an interview. “We have applied (to China's authorities) for a bigger quota (than $1.5 billion) but we have not been able to receive it.”
 
He urged China to open its domestic markets more to foreign investors: “It is in China's own interest, as the world's largest exporter of capital, to let ... investors in when they also want to invest in other countries.”
 
Tax avoidance
 
The fund, worth some $160,000 for every man, woman and child in Norway, invests in about 7,500 companies worldwide.
 
It bans investments in some industries - tobacco, nuclear arms, anti-personnel landmines and cluster bombs - and focuses in discussing with the firms it invests in on issues such as children's rights or the equal treatment of shareholders.
 
Tax avoidance has become a growing ethical issue recently, with multinationals such as Google, Apple and Starbucks under scrutiny for the way they pay taxes in the countries where they operate. They have denied any wrongdoing.
 
Slyngstad said he would not take up the issue with companies the oil fund invests in, adding that international accounting standards should be clearer.
 
The fund is Apple's 10th-biggest investor, with a stake of 0.80 percent, while the tech firm is the fund's eighth-biggest equity holding.
 
The fund is the 18th-biggest investor in both Starbucks and Google, in which it holds stakes of 0.81 percent and 0.80 percent respectively.
 
“We will not work with the individual companies on this issue,” Slyngstad told Reuters. “We will work towards the standards that apply to all companies.
 
“It is important to agree on international accounting standards in this area so that we have clear rules for how internal pricing takes place.
 
“This must be a work of international cooperation between countries and organizations that make international accounting standards,” he said.
 
Mexico up, France down
 
In the third quarter, the fund's portfolio returned 5.0 percent, beating its own benchmark index by 0.1 percentage point. That put July-to-September among the 10 best performing quarters for the fund.
 
Reflecting a growing focus on emerging markets, it bought more bonds issued by booming emerging economies in the third quarter but dumped French and Canadian debt.
 
Among the biggest changes in the fund's portfolio was a 28-percent increase in its holdings of Mexican government bonds. It also increased purchases of Brazilian and South Korean bonds, now its ninth and 10th biggest debt holdings respectively.
 
The fund's sales of French and Canadian government bonds pushed both countries out of its top 10 holdings, from fifth and 10th place respectively in the second quarter.
 
Between April and June, it had dropped British government bonds in favor of Japanese paper and increased the share taken by equities in its investment portfolio.
 
The fund publishes the list of its top 10 government bond holdings only.

You May Like

Is Air Travel Safe?

Aviation expert says despite tragic losses of Malaysian Airlines flights 370 and 17, industry experienced lowest fatality rate in recorded history last year More

Multimedia 100 Days Later, Nigerian Girls Still Held

Activists holding rallies in Nigeria and several other countries to mark 100th day of captivity for more than 200 schoolgirls being held by Boko Haram More

Chocolate Too Bitter? Swap Sugar for Mushrooms

US food technology company develops fermentation process using mushrooms to reduce bitterness in cocoa beans, believes it will cut sugar content in candy More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Leopold from: detroit
November 09, 2013 5:11 AM
What away to go we need more of this. good to here

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israeli
X
Carolyn Presutti
July 23, 2014 1:21 AM
The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video US Carriers Suspend Travel to Israel

The United States is prohibiting American carriers from flying to Israel's airport in Tel Aviv for 24 hours, because of rising violence between Israel and Hamas militants. The action was announced on Tuesday, after a rocket fired by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip landed near the airport. As VOA's Carolyn Presutti tells us, international officials soon may have to determine which combat zones are too dangerous for commercial flights.
Video

Video NASA Focuses on Earth-Like Planets

For decades, looking for life elsewhere in the universe meant listening for signals that could be from distant civilizations. But recent breakthroughs in space technology refocused some of that effort toward finding planets that may harbor life, even in its primitive form. VOA’s George Putic reports on a recent panel discussion at NASA’s headquarters, in Washington.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video US Awards Medal of Honor for Heroics in Bloodiest of Afghan Battles

U.S. combat troops are withdrawing from Afghanistan, on pace to leave the country by the end of this year. But on Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama took time to honor a soldier whose actions while under fire in Afghanistan earned him the Medal of Honor. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.

AppleAndroid