Norway's central bank warns of meddling with EUR 1 trillion fund

Norway’s central bank governor warned politicians against meddling too much with the country’s massive sovereign wealth fund and of overspending its oil wealth.

Photo: NTB SCANPIX/via REUTERS / X02351

In his annual speech to the nation’s political and business elite on Thursday, Norges Bank Governor Oystein Olsen renewed warnings that politicians should resist micro-managing the EUR 1 trillion sovereign wealth fund, the world’s biggest.

His comments come after a series of political initiatives over the past years to alter the fund’s mandate on issues ranging from climate change to gambling.

“The capital is to be invested with one -- and only one aim: the highest possible return at an acceptable risk,” Olsensaid, according to a transcript of his speech. “If there were several different objectives, they would have to be weighed against each other. That would be a demanding task for an investment manager.”

The leader of Norway’s opposition Labor Party, the biggest political group in the country, dropped a bombshell last year when he said the fund should be viewed as a “political tool” and focus more on green energy.

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