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

Cambodia Seeks Official UN Maps for Vietnam Border

Notice of request comes as 2 countries open border talks Tuesday after a clash last month More

From South Africa to Vietnam, Cyclists Deliver Message Against Rhino Horns

Appalled by poaching they saw firsthand, sisters embark on tour to raise awareness in countries where rhino horn products are in demand More

Uber Wants Johannesburg Police Protection

Request follows recent protests outside ride-hailing service's Johannesburg office 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.
New Implant Could Help Restore Movement to Paralyzed Limbsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
Maia Pujara
July 07, 2015 10:01 PM
A half-million people suffer spinal cord injuries each year because of car accidents, serious falls and diseases, according to the World Health Organization. Researchers are now working on a soft but strong spinal cord implant that could one day restore movement in paralyzed individuals. VOA’s Maia Pujara reports.
Video

Video New Implant Could Help Restore Movement to Paralyzed Limbs

A half-million people suffer spinal cord injuries each year because of car accidents, serious falls and diseases, according to the World Health Organization. Researchers are now working on a soft but strong spinal cord implant that could one day restore movement in paralyzed individuals. VOA’s Maia Pujara reports.
Video

Video Getting it Done Beyond a Nuclear Deal

If a nuclear deal is reached between Iran and world powers in Vienna, it will be a highly technical road map to be used to monitor nuclear activity in Iran for years to come to ensure Tehran does not make nuclear weapons. Equally as complicated will be dismantling international sanctions that were originally intended to be ironclad. VOA’s Heather Murdock talks to experts about the key challenges any deal will present.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.

VOA Blogs