The world’s largest sovereign wealth to drop oil and gas investments. The fund owns $37bn of shares in oil companies such as BP, Shell and France’s Total. The sovereign wealth fund was established in 1990 to invest the surplus revenues of the Norwegian petroleum sector and in May 2018 it was worth about $195,000 per Norwegian citizen.
The advice follows a report from Norway’s central bank in 2017 that dropping oil and gas investment would be a good economic move. Selling the oil and gas shares means it would not be as reliant on oil prices, it says. But Norway’s finance ministry commented that “The oil industry will be an important and major industry in Norway for many years to come,”.
Norway is western Europe’s biggest oil and gas producer and its sovereign wealth fund, known officially as the Government Pension Fund, is used to invest the proceeds of the country’s oil industry.
The move is being positioned as a way to diversify the nation’s wealth away from oil, not a judgement about the future price of oil.
However, a statement said: “A permanent reduction in the oil price will have long-term implications for public finances.”
The government recommendation must still be approved by the country’s parliament before going ahead.