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

    Leaving Scalia Replacement to 2017 Would Mean Unusually Long Vacancy

    History of high court shows Obama not in unique situation during final year of presidency

    US Fact Checkers Debunk Some Republican Candidate Claims 

    Slim evidence for several claims made by Republican presidential candidates at their last debate ahead of next Saturday's key nominating election in South Carolina

    Uganda Presidential Debate a Small Victory for Democracy

    In homes and bars across country, Ugandans were fixated on their screens as eight political candidates running for president took part in national debate

    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 Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Ugandai
    X
    Serginho Roosblad
    February 12, 2016 9:29 PM
    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video Refugees in Kenya Vie to Compete in Rio Olympics

    In Kenya, refugees from other African nations are training at a special camp and competing for a limited number of slots in this year's Rio Olympics under the flag of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Ngong, this is a first in Olympic history.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.