Norway’s oil fund wants open Chinese markets

Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, one of the world’s largest investors, urged China to open its domestic markets to foreign investors, saying it was keen to pour billions of dollars into the world’s second-biggest economy.

The head of the fund, which invests Norway’s revenues from oil and gas production for future generations, said on Tuesday it had only around $1 billion invested in China out of total holdings of $735 billion.

“Over time we will assume that we will have investments in China in proportion to the size of the economy. For the moment our investment in China is very little,” Yngve Slyngstad said after speaking at a parliamentary hearing in Oslo.

Norway’s wealth fund is shifting away from European assets towards Asia and emerging markets to seek higher returns.

Slyngstad said the offshore market for renminbi bonds was quite small and not very liquid, and that the onshore market was largely not available to foreign investors.

“China is a large investor in other parts of the world so it is reasonable to assume that they will allow those investors from those markets where they have invested themselves to invest in their market. I think this is a time question and we await developments,” he said.

Separately, Slyngstad told the parliamentary hearing that global bond returns were low and would likely be low for a long time, making it more difficult for investors to earn high enough returns.

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