Wants to Establish Northern Norway Office to Manage State Fund

Finansminister Trygve Slagsvold Vedum
Establishing a new fund to be managed from Tromsø will facilitate the development of new expertise in Tromsø and Northern Norway, reads the press release from the Ministry of Finance. Pictured here is Minister of Finance Trygve Slagsvold Vedum (Center). (Photo: Kenneth Hætta/the Norwegian Ministry of Finance).

The Norwegian Ministry of Finance wants to establish a state fund in Tromsø and suggests that the fund should manage NOK 15 billion. This could contribute to positive ripple effects for growth and business development in Northern Norway, says MoF Vedum (Center).

The Norwegian Ministry of Finance has submitted a proposal for hearing about a state fund in Tromsø, Northern Norway, which will be a new unit for state asset management.

According to the ministry, plans are being made for the Norwegian statutory corporation National Insurance Scheme (Folketrygdfondet) to set up an office in Tromsø from which the State Fund in Tromsø will be managed. The National Insurance Scheme currently manages the Government Pension Fund Norway and the Government Bond Fund.

The framework for the fund is NOK 15 billion. When some experience has been gained, this can be considered increased to NOK 30 billion.

Important to Northern Norway

The aim of establishing the fund is to contribute to building asset management environments in Northern Norway.

"The government prioritizes Northern Norway and wishes to create activity in the entire country. By establishing a new asset management environment in Tromsø, we can create important jobs in Northern Norway and Tromsø. This could have positive ripple effects for growth and business development in the entire region," says MoF Trygve Slagsvold Vedum (Center) in a press release.

Between 5 and 15 employees

The fund will be established on the Government Pension Fund and the Government Bond Fund model. This means, among other things, that the Government Fund in Tromsø will not have its own board or administration, the hearing note states.

In a letter from the National Insurance Scheme to the Ministry of Finance in September 2023, the National Insurance Scheme recommendations include that a new asset management unit in Tromsø should invest in the parts of the Nordic listed stock markets that are not included in SPN's (Government Pension Fund Norway) benchmark index for shares.

The National Insurance Scheme also expects it will take time to build up a new unit and writes that "repatriates and newcomers with expertise in asset management will be able to form parts of a new asset management unit."

Furthermore, it states that the aim should be to establish a minimum staff of 5 people before investments are made. On a very uncertain basis, we assume that a staff of 8-15 people in Tromsø will be sufficient to carry out the assignment in the long term.

The State Fund Act Tromsø hearing deadline is February 5th, 2024.