Date
21 August 2017
Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, which is funded by taxes on oil and gas, may scale back its investments in Russia in the wake of the MH17 incident. Photo: Bloomberg
Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, which is funded by taxes on oil and gas, may scale back its investments in Russia in the wake of the MH17 incident. Photo: Bloomberg

Norway sovereign fund rethinks Russia investments

Norway’s US$890 billion sovereign wealth fund is reassessing its holdings in Russia as the European Union considers expanding sanctions against Moscow, Bloomberg News reported Thursday.

Sentiment toward Russian assets has soured since the downing last week of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17. The jetliner is suspected to have been brought down by a missile strike from Moscow-backed separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine.

Norway, which isn’t an EU member, said it is ready to adjust the fund’s holdings to reflect the changing geopolitical climate. 

“If the oil fund’s investments become affected by economic sanctions against Russia that Norway supports,” the fund “will need to make the necessary adjustments to accommodate the new situation,” Runar Malkenes, a Norwegian finance ministry spokesman, was quoted as saying.

The sovereign wealth fund, the world’s biggest, is monitoring the situation in Russia, where it has significant holdings.

The fund held about US$3.6 billion in stocks and US$4 billion in corporate and government bonds in Russia as of the end of 2013, according to its annual report. 

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RC

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