The myth that Norwegian Air is Chinese-owned can finally be put to rest once and for all. Recent figures from Norwegian Air shows that nearly two out of three Norwegian Air shares are now owned by Norwegians and Swedes. The Nordic small investors own so much of Norwegian Air that they dominate both in numbers and in percentage of ownership.
According to the figures, 99 percent of Norwegian Air’s total 67,400 shareholders are Norwegian. They and a few hundred Swedes now own a total of 64 percent of the shares in the airline.
The five largest leasing companies owned 50 percent of Norwegian Air right after the refinancing last spring. The China-controlled leasing company BOC Aviation sold down quickly after it became a major shareholder in May last year and the other international leasing companies have done the same. Now the same five leasing companies own only between 9–20 percent of the shares. However, a couple of them can quickly become major shareholders again by converting debt into shares.
While Chinese leasing companies have sold down, Norwegian and Swedish small investors have flocked and even parliamentary representative Solveig Horne invested money in the company. Overall it means that the Chinese state now has a maximum indirect financial ownership interest of 3.2 percent in Norwegian.