Norwegian sovereign wealth fund dumps Russian assets during Ukraine invasion

  • Norway’s $1.3 trillion sovereign wealth fund will exit its Russian investments when Ukraine is invaded.
  • Norges Bank Investment Management is the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world.
  • Norway’s announcement comes as Western countries are tightening Russia’s economic isolation.

Norway’s huge sovereign wealth fund – the largest in the world – will dump its Russian investments after the invasion of Ukraine.

“We have decided to freeze the fund’s investments and have started a process of selling (Russia),” Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre told a press conference on Sunday, per Reuters.

Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) is the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world, according to the data provider Global SWF. At the end of 2021, it organized a wallet more than 9,000 stocks worth $1.3 trillion, including 47 Russian companies and government bonds worth 25 billion Norwegian kroner ($2.78 billion), Reuters reported, citing the Norwegian government.

“Russia’s attack on Ukraine tested Europe’s security in a way we haven’t seen since World War II,” Støre said in a statement. Sunday Statement expressing his support for Ukraine. “It challenges our standards, our values ​​and the principles on which our democratic society is based,” Støre added, according to a FinancialTimes Translation.

Norway’s announcement comes as Western countries and businesses step up their economic isolation from Russia, including the withdrawal of some banks from the SWIFT banking system.

British oil giant BP is also dropping its 20% stake in state-backed Russian oil giant Rosneft. BP chairman Helge Lund said Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was the “fundamental shift” that ended the two energy giants’ 30-year business partnership, according to a report. declaration.

Norway’s move came just days after the sovereign wealth fund’s CEO, Nicolai Tangen, spoke about the difficulties of selling his Russian holdings, a news outlet reported. Borsen reported. The Russian stock market has plunged, with the MOEX Russia index falling 35% year-to-date.

“It’s obviously a dilemma, but selling on a market is not black or white,” Tangen told the Danish outlet, according to a translation by FT. “The Moscow stock market has fallen sharply in recent days, and if we sell our shares now, the Russian oligarchs could buy them on the cheap.”

NBIM’s most valuable stake in an individual Russian company at the end of 2020 was in state-owned Sberbank, followed by energy companies Gazprom and Lukoil, according to Reuters, citing data from Refinitiv Eikon.

The NBIM did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.