Managers of Norway’s huge sovereign wealth fund will be required to report only every half year rather than quarterly following changes to their mandates effective at the beginning of this year.
The government said mid-year reporting safeguarded long-term considerations better than the current quarterly reporting system, and that it would help save resources.
The Norwegian finance ministry announced details of changes to the mandate and reporting framework for the smaller portion of the fund, the locally-invested Government Pension Fund Norway (GPFN), in December, and for the much larger Government Pension Fund Global (GPFG) at the end of November.
However, the new rules do not necessarily mean that in practice the managers of the two funds – Folketrygdfondet and Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) respectively – will abandon more frequent reporting, since the government has also put the onus on the managers themselves to decide whether there is a need for additional publications.
“Norges Bank must continuously assess the need to publish information on developments in the fund outside the half-year and annual reports, especially during periods of particularly severe turmoil in the financial markets,” the ministry wrote in its announcement.
Asked whether NBIM would in fact switch to less frequent financial reporting on the fund, a spokeswoman for the central bank division referred IPE to the finance ministry for all questions related to their decision.
However, she did confirm that all NBIM’s reports would still be available in English. The mandate changes state only that the reporting must be in Norwegian.
State Secretary Marianne Eikvåg Groth, of Norway’s Conservative Party, told IPE the change to less frequent mandatory reporting was initiated by the ministry and not Norges Bank.
The management mandate stated that there should be the greatest possible transparency about the management of the fund within the limits defined by responsible execution of the mandate, she said.
At the end of September 2019, the GPFG managed NOK9.7tn (€982bn) while the GPFN had NOK261bn.