Sunday, June 22, 2008

Norway and 1% of the European Capital Markets!

Norway's sovereign fund (The Government Pension Fund of Norway) reportely has holdings in 7000 companies representing more than $350 billion in investments.

This extraordinary country of 5 million people now holds 1% by value of European Capital Markets. Norway is fortunate to be the world's third largest exporter of oil and gas, with large reserves in the North Sea.

There's much more that remains untapped. Norway is estimated to have 7.7 billion in oil reserves. At $200 a barrel, that's $1.5 trillion in value - equal to the entire global hedge fund industry. This may not be a large amount yet since global capital markets are valued at $150 trillion. However, as sovereign funds balloon to $20 trillion thanks mostly to oil, it would be interesting to see how sovereign funds impact global capital markets.

Lets hope large sums of oil money are spent on technologies we need to protect our own futures - life sciences, nanotechnology, energy, and hopefully donated towards programs that support the world's poorest. After all, oil-rich nations and world's poorest are both largely accidents mostly of geography.

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