Singapore To Remain As Norwegian Sovereign Wealth fund’s Sole Asian Hub
SINGAPORE – The city-state is poised to remain as the only Asian hub location of the Government Pension Fund of Norway after the sovereign wealth fund announced on Thursday that it plans to shutter its Shanghai representative office, according to a report from the Agence France-Presse (AFP) last week.
Norway’s Government Pension Fund said the impending closure of its Shanghai office “does not affect the fund’s investment strategy or its investments in China”.
At the end of 2022, the sovereign wealth fund had invested in around 850 Chinese entities collectively valued at about US$42 billion (S$57 billion). Globally, the fund’s portfolio is presently valued at approximately 15.2 trillion kroner (S$1.9 trillion).
The Government Pension Fund of Norway stated that the closure of its Shanghai office was “driven by operational considerations” and it’s just an adjustment to the fund’s operating business model, with its Singapore office now handling businesses in China.
“Over the years, our Singapore office has increasingly served as the hub for the whole of the Asian region and has been built up to take care of all operational functions, including for China.”
Previously, the sovereign wealth fund opened its Shanghai representative office in November 2007. Currently, the Chinese office employs eight professionals.
The looming closure comes as China’s economy faces difficulties in recovering to its pre-pandemic strength, amidst weak GDP growth, falling exports and concerns about the country’s hugely indebted real estate industry.
Following the closure of the Shanghai representative office, the Government Pension Fund of Norway will only have four offices across the globe – in Oslo, New York, London, and Singapore.