Norway’s $1 trillion wealth fund should keep oil stocks — government commission

The sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, invests Norway’s revenues from oil and gas production for future generations in stocks, bonds and real estate abroad. (Reuters)
Updated 24 August 2018
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Norway’s $1 trillion wealth fund should keep oil stocks — government commission

OSLO: Norway’s trillion-dollar sovereign wealth fund should continue to invest in oil and gas firms, a government-appointed commission recommended on Friday, contradicting earlier advice from the central bank.
A decision on whether to drop energy shares from the fund’s benchmark index, and thus divest tens of billions of dollars from oil and gas stocks over time, is expected later this year.
Shares of European oil and gas companies fell last November when the fund’s manager, the Norwegian central bank, announced its proposal to cut the exposure of the fund — and thus the Norwegian government — to oil price fluctuations.
“Divestments of the energy stocks in the (fund) is not an effective insurance against a permanent decline in oil prices. The energy stocks only contribute marginally to Norway’s oil price risk,” commission chair Oeystein Thoegersen said in a statement.
The fund, the world’s largest sovereign wealth fund, invests Norway’s revenues from oil and gas production for future generations in stocks, bonds and real estate abroad.
Energy stocks amounted to about 4 percent of the total value of the fund, or about 315 billion Norwegian crowns ($37 billion), at end-2017, said the commission.


IDEX 2019: UAE armed forces sign new defense deals

Updated 19 February 2019
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IDEX 2019: UAE armed forces sign new defense deals

  • Falcon was developed in response to the UAE’s request to replace the Hawk Air Defense System

ABU DHABI: The UAE armed forces has signed $1.17 million worth of defense contracts with local companies and $514.8 million with international companies, military spokesperson Brigadier General Mohammed Al-Hassani said on Tuesday.

The Emirates on Monday also awarded Raytheon a $1.55 billion contract to supply its air force with platform systems to launch missiles.

The agreement was signed at the week-long IDEX military exhibition in Abu Dhabi and followed the award on Sunday of a 1.3 billion-dirham contract to Raytheon to supply the UAE with patriot missiles.

The UAE armed forces signed a total of 7.2 billion dirhams in contracts on Monday, including 5.8 billion dirhams with international companies, Brig. Gen. Mohammed Al-Hassani said, speaking through a translator.

The UAE has signed a total of 12 billion dirhams in contracts since the IDEX exhibition started on Sunday, he said.

Lockheed Martin, Germany’s Diehl Defense, and Sweden’s Saab on Monday launched at IDEX the Falcon air defense weapon system, billed as a replacement to the Hawk system used by countries in the Middle East.

Falcon was developed in response to a UAE request for a replacement for the Hawk system and talks are underway to sell it to the Gulf state, Scott Arnold, Lockheed Martin’s vice president and deputy head of Integrated Air and Missile Defense said.

Weapons sales to the UAE have come under scrutiny over the past year due to the country’s involvement in the Yemen war that has killed tens of thousands of people and pushed the country to the brink of starvation.

The UAE and Saudi Arabia are leading a military coalition, which includes local forces drawn from Yemeni factions, that is trying to restore the internationally recognized government ousted from power in 2014 by the Iran-aligned Houthi movement.