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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

John the XXIII and John Paul II will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square on April 27 More

Thailand Reacts to Plots Targeting Israelis

Authorities hope arrest of two Lebanese suspects will disrupt plot to attack young Israeli tourists More

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

'Once Upon a Forest' takes viewers deep into heart of tropical rainforest 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.
Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Churchi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 22, 2014 4:14 PM
On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Robotic Mission Kicks Up Lunar Dust

A robotic mission to the moon was deliberately crashed onto the lunar surface late last week, but not before scientists had collected data gathered by the spacecraft which was designed to self-destruct. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports on the preliminary findings of the craft, called LADEE - an acronym for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer.
Video

Video Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Bombing in Nigerian Capital

The Nigerian militant group known as Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a bombing in the capital on April 14th that killed 75 people. In the video message, Abubakar Shekau, the man who says he ordered the bombing, says nothing about the mass abduction of more than 100 teenage girls, most of whom are still missing. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Abuja.
Video

Video Ukraine Developments Hang Over Obama Trip to Asia

President Barack Obama's trip to Asia this week comes as concerns over Beijing's territorial ambitions are growing in the region. Those concerns have been compounded by Russia's recent actions in Ukraine and the possibility that Chinese strategists might be looking to Crimea as a model for its territorial disputes with its neighbors. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid