‘There will be shocks’: Yngve Slyngstad, Norway’s $1tn man | Financial Times


‘There will be shocks’: Yngve Slyngstad, Norway’s $1tn man | Financial Times
‘There will be shocks’: Yngve Slyngstad, Norway’s $1tn man | Financial Times
Norway’s sovereign wealth fund is a fairytale of global finance. In less than 25 years investing the energy riches of the North Sea, it has grown into a $1.2tn giant; it owns 1.5 per cent of the world’s publicly traded companies. Who more stimulating for me to have my first formal lunch with in six months, I think, than the man who for more than a decade presided over this behemoth — and used its heft to hold company boards to account for their environmental and social impact? 
Yngve Slyngstad, who stepped down this summer, has proposed we meet at FishWorks in Marylebone, central London. From the outside, FishWorks looks like a small unadorned fishmonger. He leads me past crates of fresh fish into the restaurant area in the back. He likes it, he says, because it is “one of the few places where you know they actually receive their own catch”. 
He also chose it, he says, for the cryptic reason that “we could in theory call the fund the ‘fish fund’”. What he means, it turns out, is that the “oil” fund — which regularly covers a sixth of public expenditure — is unrelated to oil per se. What Norway has done is save its export surplus, which might as well have come from the country’s other bountiful North Sea resource. Most of the fund’s value comes from accumulated gains on bonds, shares and property. As he observes wryly: “We haven’t even started spending any of the oil money.”

[Author: [email protected] (Rupert Neil Bumfrey)]


Tags: Travel, Norway, North Sea, Marylebone, Rupert Neil Bumfrey, Yngve Slyngstad, | Financial Times, FishWorks

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