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Norway revises rules for dipping into sovereign wealth fund

Europe
16.02.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Stockholm (dpa) - The Norwegian government on Thursday announced proposals to lower the portion of how much it can spend from the country‘s huge sovereign wealth fund, citing lower future return rates.

Instead of spending up to 4 per cent of the fund‘s real return under provisions from 2001, the government proposed adjusting the level to 3 per cent, Prime Minister Erna Solberg and Finance Minister Siv Jensen told reporters.

In addition, the right-leaning government proposed raising the portion that the fund - one of the world‘s largest - invests in equities from 60 to 70 per cent. 

"The government‘s proposals will support a continued, responsible management of the considerable oil and gas resources," said Solberg, leader of the Conservative Party.

She said the current budget used 3 per cent of the fund‘s real return.

Jensen said the government had consulted a number of external experts before opting to raise the equity investments to 70 per cent. She noted that the central bank had recommended raising the portion to 75 per cent.

The measures have still to be passed in parliament.

"The expected return on equities exceeds that of bonds," she said, adding that "equities carry higher risks."

The Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global was created in 1996 to invest income from the country‘s petroleum and gas sectors. The cap on the return was to avoid overheating the mainland economy.

 

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