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Norway, the first country in the world where the purchase of electric cars exceeds that of other new cars

According to the Road Traffic Information Council (OFV), battery-electric cars accounted for 54.3 percent of new vehicle sales in 2020, outperforming cars with gasoline, hybrid and diesel engines combined.

The previous year, Norway became the first country with more than 50 percent electric cars among all new cars sold globally, beating cars with gasoline, hybrid and diesel engines combined, according to data released Tuesday by Norwegian Federation of Roads.

Among the figures, battery electric cars (VEB) accounted for a world record with 54.3 percent of new vehicle sales in 2020 , compared to 2019 which accounted for 42 percent and 1 percent of the market. general of ten years ago. By comparison, the sale of vehicles with specifically diesel engines fell from 75.7 percent in 2011 to only 8.6 percent in 2020.

Norway is on track to meet its goal of decarbonizing all new vehicles by 2025 .

The four best-selling models in the country are: Audi e-tron, Tesla Model 3, Volkswagen ID.3 and Nissan Leaf are all powered by electricity.

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Kahoot – A SoftBank-backed education start-up could be Europe’s first major tech IPO in 2021

  • Kahoot is a game-based online learning service that lets players create and engage in multiple-choice quizzes.
  • The firm is listed on Oslo’s Euronext Growth exchange but is now planning a full listing on the main Norwegian stock market.
  • It’s backed by the likes of SoftBank, Microsoft and Disney, as well as venture capital firms Creandum and Northzone.

LONDON — Online education company Kahoot is “on track” to list on the main Norwegian stock market by the end of March, its CEO told CNBC, after a pandemic-driven boom in digital learning helped the firm post strong growth in 2020.

Kahoot, which is based in Oslo, is a game-based online learning service that lets players create and engage in multiple-choice quizzes. Founded in 2012, the company has over 24 million active users and is backed by the likes of SoftBankMicrosoft and Disney. It makes money from paid subscriptions.

The firm is listed on Oslo’s Euronext Growth market, a route for smaller Norwegian companies seeking a broader initial public offering. Its shares have risen more than 400% year-over-year on the back of rising demand for remote learning linked with coronavirus restrictions.

“We are transitioning to the main listing on the stock exchange at the end of this quarter, that’s the plan,” Kahoot CEO Eilert Hanoa told CNBC in an interview Tuesday. He added that Kahoot hopes to reach a larger audience of investors with a full IPO.

Kahoot racked up revenues of $45.2 million in 2020, up 247% from the $13 million it reported the previous year. Kahoot said it expects fourth-quarter profit to come in at $1 million, excluding stock-based compensation, related payroll taxes and acquisition costs. The firm is forecasting 2021 revenues of between $90 million and $100 million.

With a market value of around $5.7 billion, Kahoot is one of Europe’s most valuable educational technology, or edtech, companies. It competes with Canada’s SMARTeacher Inc, which publishes the popular online math game Prodigy.

Kahoot could be one of the first major European tech unicorns to go public this year if it hits its goal of listing on the Oslo Stock Exchange in the first quarter. 2020 marked a quieter year for Europe’s tech IPO market, with big U.S. listings from the likes of AirbnbPalantir and DoorDash stealing the limelight.

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Hello 2021: Lessons in 2020 Resilience

Hello 2021: Lessons in 2020 Resilience

As we acutely feel the anticipation and excitement of 2021, we are reminded of all that we take with us from 2020 – a year of extraordinary circumstance, exceptional innovation, and extreme flexibility. Despite months of home-office and frequent moratoriums on in-person gatherings, 2020 was a year of much activity for us here at AmCham, arguably more than any previous year. Thank you all for your collaboration and resilience, joining us on roller-coaster 2020. We wanted to look back on some of the high-points:


Despite a continuously shifting spectrum ranging from in-person to virtual to hybrid and back again, 2020 was filled with insightful meetings and refreshing events spanning the Nordics like never before.

AmCham’s greatly anticipated Arendalsuka, 20th Anniversary Golf Tournament, and Thanksgiving Charity Dinner traditions all took on a different form. We were thrilled to offer a safe version of each gathering, thanks to loyal sponsors and a creative members who socially distanced on the golf course, streamed our Møteplass Oslo Panel, and picked-up their Thanksgiving meals to-go!

Our ongoing Financial, Sustainability, and Digitalization Forums maintained their cross-industry strength throughout the year, providing an established venue that welcomed speakers from industry and government alike.

Together with our Nordic counterpart organizations, we hosted a six-part election series in the leadup to the 2020 US Elections, engaging speakers from the US and Nordics including CSPAN’s Steve Scully, Fox’s Jon Decker, former White House trade negotiator Kelly Ann Shaw, Transatlantic Task Force Executive Director Bruce Stokes, and Ambassador Barry B. White.

The AmCham Healthcare Committee picked up speed, meeting frequently to discuss relevant topics with key stakeholders in the private and public sectors including Dr. Stig Slørdahl, Dr. Kjetil Taskén, and Assistant Director General of the Department of Health and Care Maiken Engelstad.


The annual Mentorship and Rising Leaders programs had strong years – each with record numbers of participants and applicants. Virtual and hybrid meetings became the norm as participants met with industry leaders to discuss what it means to be a leader and build a career.


With the rapid pace of innovation in 2020 and ever-changing international economy, there was a slew of policy issues relevant to our members. AmCham published Position Papers on the Healthcare Industry as well as the Food and Beverage Industry, two of our largest member groups. We also worked with members to comment on the European Data Protection Board’s Recommendations and joined together with members and partners in response to VAT Compensation Changes for International Schools in Norway.

We contributed again to 2020’s informal trade talks between the US and Norwegian governments, which were moved to an abridged, digital format.


In addition to our many meeting recaps, Leadership Interviews, and the launch of our three-question interview series, we delivered our annual Membership Guide and an important new Foreign Multinationals in Norway Report. Including statistics on the economic contributions of foreign multinational companies to Norwegian society, the report is shared widely and referenced by public and private stakeholders domestically and internationally.

We contributed again to 2020’s informal trade talks between the US and Norwegian governments, which were moved to an abridged, digital format.

Thank you!

Looking ahead, we know there is much to be done, and many learnings from 2020 to bring with us. We look forward to building upon the work we started, growing our reach, and collaborating with all of our members to contribute to the strengthening of the Norwegian economy and transatlantic relationship.

Cheers to a New Year, we cannot wait to get to work!

Business Leaders Call on Congress to Accept the Electoral College Results

This presidential election has been decided and it is time for the country to move forward. President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris have won the Electoral College and the courts have rejected challenges to the electoral process. Congress should certify the electoral vote on Wednesday, January 6. Attempts to thwart or delay this process run counter to the essential tenets of our democracy.

The incoming Biden administration faces the urgent tasks of defeating COVID-19 and restoring the livelihoods of millions of Americans who have lost jobs and businesses during the pandemic. Our duly elected leaders deserve the respect and bipartisan support of all Americans at a moment when we are dealing with the worst health and economic crises in modern history. There should be no further delay in the orderly transfer of power.


William D. Abramson, Director of Brokerage, Buchbinder & Warren Realty Group LLC

Lee S. Ainslie, III, Managing Partner, Maverick Capital

Ellen Alemany, Chairman & CEO, CIT Group Inc.

Simon Allen, Chief Executive Officer, McGraw-Hill Education, Inc.

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DNBs New York-kontor: Ser store muligheter med Biden som president

NEW YORK (E24): Leder av New York-kontoret til DNB, Mats Wermelin, mener USAs nye president Joe Biden vil være bra for norsk industri.

BØRS OG FINANS – Det har vært en utrolig merkelig tid. Jo nærmere valget vi har kommet har det blitt tydeligere at landet og den nåværende presidenten har mer egeninteresse og har satt USA først, sier han, og trekker frem at han mener Biden minsker den geopolitiske risikoen.

– Jeg ser store muligheter fremover med Biden. Både for norsk industri og norske kunder. Vi ser at USA kommer tilbake til verdenspolitikken, sier han og viser E24 inn i det kjente MetLife bygget hvor DNB holder til med sine 122 ansatte.

Selv om MetLife-bygget er et av verdens største kontorbygninger og den 14. høyeste skyskraperen på Manhattan, er det nærmest tomt for mennesker i 31. etasje hvor DNB holder til.

Wermelin forteller at de fleste ansatte har hatt hjemmekontor siden starten av pandemien.

New York var i våres episenteret for corona i verden. Dødstallene var dramatiske. Sykehus og begravelsesbyråer hadde sprengt kapasitet.

Corona-tallene er nok en gang på vei opp, ikke bare i New York, men også i store deler av USA. Over 300.000 amerikanere har mistet livet, og flere millioner mennesker har mistet jobbene sine.

Fortsatt viktig med New York-kontoret

Butikker, restauranter og barer har vært nødt til å stenge. Flere eksperter har spekulert i om New York vil kunne komme til å overleve en bølge nummer to.

– Vi har nok jobbet mer i år enn tidligere i år. Selv om måten vi jobber på er annerledes. Vi kommuniserer med kundene våre digitalt, men de ansatte og kundene har tilpasset seg, samtidig som det er klart at det har vært utfordrende for oss alle, sier Wermelin.

Olje blir mindre viktig

– Det har vært vanskeligere for norske bedrifter i startfasen å få til noe – med tanke på den økonomiske situasjonen landet befinner seg i, sier han og legger til:

– Men for allerede etablerte selskaper har det ikke vært noen store endringer – foruten de industriene som har vært rammet av pandemien. De har hatt det tøft.

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Ten Technology Trends Moving into 2021

To retool for the world of tomorrow, companies should stay on top of these critical digital trends.

  • From edge AI, 5G and automated artificial intelligence, to rising momentum for next-gen talent management and technology supporting sustainability, these are the tech trends that gained power in 2020.
  • Digital shifts are opening new opportunities in advanced manufacturing, financial services, healthcare, retail, consumer products, media and technology.

Necessity being the mother of (re)invention, the Covid-19 crisis has dramatically accelerated corporate digital transformation. As companies hurry to develop new digital capabilities in an effort to build resilience and retool for the post-pandemic world, keeping up with fast-moving technology trends is critical.

To monitor the most important trends, Bain & Company met regularly this year with a carefully selected group of over 100 technology companies and start-ups. Hunting for today’s most relevant technologies and tech applications, we hit on 10 trends that are already having an impact on a wide range of industries. From AI on the edge and 5G ushering in Industry 4.0, to automated artificial intelligence (AI) powering the financial industry, to cognitive science and gamification helping win the war for talent, these technology applications are creating big opportunities in the era of the digital enterprise.

Edge AI transplants brains to factory tools and machinery.

Considered the next wave of artificial intelligence, “edge AI” or “AI on the edge” is a network infrastructure that makes it possible for AI algorithms to run on the edge of a network, meaning closer to or even on the devices collecting the data. The sudden and dramatic changes in network traffic that have accompanied Covid-19 lockdowns and the shift to working from home are likely to accelerate the move already underway toward edge computing.

Benefits of edge computing include preserving bandwidth and increasing efficiency by processing information closer to the users and devices that require it, rather than sending that data for processing in central locations in the cloud. By embedding AI locally, manufacturers can reduce latency issues and accelerate the generation of insights while lowering cloud services usage and cost. Connectivity cost also drops, as processing part of the data locally reduces bandwidth and cellular data usage. And because intelligence is being run locally, plants located in remote areas with poor communication infrastructure are less subject to connectivity losses that can hinder mission-critical and time-sensitive decision making.

As Prometheus stole fire from the gods and brought it to men, edge AI “steals” part of the intelligence from the cloud and brings it to machinery. Octonion, a start-up that integrates artificial intelligence into low-power microcontrollers, exemplifies how intelligence can be imbued into industrial products. The technology helps companies make smart decisions in real time, locally, by using continuous learning models and machine health scores. Examples include deploying edge AI on industrial motors and pumps to improve monitoring and develop predictive maintenance capabilities.

5G factory revolutionizes manufacturing.

The World Economic Forum, citing IHS Markit research, expects the fifth-generation mobile network, 5G, to reach a global economic output of $13.2 trillion and generate 22.3 million jobs by 2035. By unlocking a new realm of technological possibilities, the global wireless standard is expected to notably accelerate the shift toward Industry 4.0, the industrial Internet of Things.

Capable of meeting the power requirements of millions of connections to data-intensive applications, 5G is expected to boost the manufacturing industry with new and more powerful digital capabilities. Up to 100 times faster than 4G, 5G offers drastically reduced latency that makes it possible to share data extremely quickly, erase processing delays and ensure factory systems can react in real time. The reliability of 5G connectivity guarantees a stable and constant network connection anywhere and at any time on factory floors, ensuring the continuous and unhindered execution of business-critical missions. 5G could even usher in an era of massive machine-type communication (communication between machines).

One interesting early application is a collaboration between IBM, Samsung Electronics, Singaporean telecommunications company M1 and Singapore’s Infocomm Media Development Authority to test 5G manufacturing use cases. The concept is to improve equipment monitoring and predictive maintenance by using AI in image recognition and video analytics, facilitating automated visual inspection and acoustic insights. In addition, the group is testing augmented reality’s ability to boost productivity and quality in assembly.

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Opinion: Trust is the secret sauce that Warren Buffett and others value highly in companies

Trust-based corporate cultures promote autonomy and accountability

For his 100th birthday last week, George P. Shultz, distinguished businessman, cabinet member and scholar, wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post reflecting on the single most important quality in American institutions and life: Trust. If trust is in the room, whatever room, he wrote, then good things happen. Shultz went on to illustrate with examples in 10 different settings including family, military, management, religion, government, leadership, diplomacy, writing, negotiations and politics.

Shultz’s thesis seems profoundly right, and all of his examples warrant being expanded on, starting with trust in the corporate realm — encompassing management and leadership as well as other aspects such as stewardship.

For decades, American corporate culture has moved in the direction of command and control. Boards faced rising pressure for accountability, leading them to command corporate officers to install elaborate internal controls, information systems and compliance programs. While well-intentioned, such efforts dampen the trust employees up and down the ranks need to have.

Over the same period, corporate governance moved toward prescribed mandates for all companies. Today all boards are expected to follow delineated protocols ordained “best practices,” whether or not they are best for a particular company. Such uniformity diminishes the trust that can form when directors and shareholders exchange views and make their own decisions based on the needs of the company.

Countering this trend of control is a trust-based culture. A trust-based corporate culture relies on the assumption that businesses should be decentralized into the smallest possible units whose performance can usefully be measured to identify problems and opportunities. Hallmarks of a trust-based corporate culture include autonomy and decentralization.

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ConocoPhillips Announces Significant Oil Discovery in the Norwegian Sea

HOUSTON – ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) today announced a new oil discovery in production license 891 on the Slagugle prospect located 14 miles north-northeast of the Heidrun Field in the Norwegian Sea. ConocoPhillips Skandinavia AS is operator of the license with 80 percent working interest. Pandion Energy AS is license partner with 20 percent working interest.

Preliminary estimates place the size of the discovery between 75 million and 200 million barrels of recoverable oil equivalent. Extensive data acquisition and sampling has been carried out in the discovery well 6507/5-10, and future appraisal will be conducted to determine potential flow rates, the reservoir’s ultimate resource recovery and potential development plan.

“This discovery marks our fourth successful exploration well on the Norwegian Continental Shelf in the last 16 months,” said Matt Fox, executive vice president and chief operating officer. “All four discoveries have been made in well-documented parts of the North Sea and the Norwegian Sea and offer very low cost of supply resource additions that can extend our more than 50-year legacy in Norway.”  

The discovery well was drilled in 1,165 feet of water to a total depth of 7,149 feet by the Leiv Eiriksson drilling rig.  

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Update: Aon Confirms EU Antitrust Probe of Merger with Willis Towers Watson

Aon plc confirmed that the European Commission (EC) has initiated a review of the company’s proposed $30 billion bid for Willis Towers Watson.

Aon said the Phase II review is a common next step “for a transaction of this size and complexity under EU Merger Regulation…” However, the broker said it remains on track to close the deal in the first half of 2021.

“As stated previously, Aon’s and Willis Towers Watson’s businesses are complementary, operating across broad, very competitive areas of the economy, and Aon remains confident of a positive outcome without any divestitures,” said Aon in a statement.

“Aon expected a thorough review of this combination and will continue to work closely with all the relevant regulators, including the EC. The firm looks forward to continuing its dialogue with the EC throughout the Phase II review process.”

“We have opened an in-depth investigation to assess carefully whether the transaction could lead to negative effects for competition, less choice and higher prices for European customers in the commercial risk brokerage market,” said EC Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, who is responsible for competition policy, in a statement.

A full-scale EC investigation will takes about three months until May 10, 2021, according to the EC. Reuters first reported the likely EU investigation last week.

The EC said it is concerned that the proposed deal could affect competition with regards to:

  • Brokerage services to large multi-national customers in the risk classes property/casualty, financial and professional services, credit and political risk, cyber and marine;
  • Brokerage services to customers of all sizes for space and aerospace manufacturing risks as well as in a few additional risk classes in specific national markets.
  • The provision of reinsurance brokerage services. “The transaction would combine two of the three leading reinsurance brokers and thereby may reduce choice for insurance companies placing their risks with reinsurance companies…,” said the EC.
Divestitures Expected

According to equity research issued by Wells Fargo Securities, there are likely to be some divestitures to facilititate regulatory approval of the Aon-WTW merger.

“If Aon did have to sell businesses, we would expect there could be many potential buyers depending on what ultimately might have to be sold,” said Wells Fargo Securities, pointing to Arthur J. Gallagher as a possible contender.

“Even with some divestitures, we still view the deal favorably and think Aon and Willis should more than exceed the expense saves laid out with the deal,” said the research note. “From a fundamental perspective, Aon should benefit from the economy improving to pre-COVID-19 levels right around when the Willis transaction is expected to close….”

The EC said the opening of an in-depth inquiry does not prejudge the final result of the investigation.

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Norway Is Seen Leading the Way in Post-Covid Interest Rate Hikes

Norway’s central bank said it may be able to raise interest rates earlier than previously thought, reinforcing the view it will be the first among holders of the world’s major currencies to tighten policy as the economy recovers.

Keeping the benchmark rate at 0% as expected, policy makers said Thursday that their latest forecast implies a “gradual rise from the first half of 2022 as activity approaches a normal level” after the pandemic. The krone gained as much as 0.8% against the euro.

The outlook stands out among the world’s key central banks from the U.S. to Japan, which are all expected to maintain ultra-loose policies for years to support their pandemic-stricken economies.

Norway, by contrast, has relied more heavily on fiscal measures to weather the crisis better than most. This year, it withdrew record amounts from its $1.2 trillion sovereign wealth fund, the world’s biggest, easing pressure on the central bank.

Kristoffer Kjaer Lomholt, a chief analyst at Danske Bank who had expected policy makers to raise rates by December 2021, said his call “seems even more likely now” after Thursday’s announcement.

What Bloomberg Economics Says…

“Abundant fiscal support to households and businesses will help Norway bounce back from the Covid-19 recession. We expect the central bank, which also takes financial stability into account, will be able to raise rates already in the first quarter of 2022 — sooner than flagged today.”

— Johanna Jeansson, Nordic economist

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