Norway: The Rich Cousin

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Norway: The Rich Cousin


Category: Culture / Lifestyle

NORWAY IS THE odd man out in the Nordics. While its neighbours are flirting with free markets, Norway is embracing state capitalism. Its national oil champion, Statoil, is the largest company in the region. The Norwegian state owns large stakes in Telenor, the country’s biggest telephone operator, Norsk Hydro, its biggest aluminium producer, Yara, its biggest fertiliser- maker, and DnBNor, its biggest bank. It holds 37% of the Oslo stockmarket, but it also controls some non-listed giants such as Statkraft, a power-generator, which if listed would be the third-biggest company on the stockmarket.

The simple explanation for Norway’s penchant for state capitalism is oil. When it was discovered in the North Sea in late 1969 it transformed the country’s economy. Today Norway is the world’s eighth-largest oil exporter. Petroleum accounts for 30% of the government’s revenues as well as a quarter of the country’s value added.

Source: The Economist

Published: February 2, 2013