Norway wealth fund calls for independence, expertise on company boards

OSLO, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Norway’s $970-billion sovereign wealth fund, the world’s largest, will ask the 9,000 companies in which it invests to ensure their board members have sufficient independence and expertise, it said in a series of policy papers on Friday.

Directors should also ensure they have sufficient time to fulfil their obligations on the boards which they serve, Norges Bank Investment Management added.

“At least two independent members should have worked in the industry,” said Chief Corporate Governance Officer Carine Smith Ihenacho.

“The board should (also) be chaired by an independent non-executive member,” she said in a statement.

The fund funnels the Norwegian government revenues from offshore oil and gas production and invests them in stocks, bonds and property abroad. It owns 1.4 percent of all globally listed shares.

$1 = 8.2784 Norwegian crowns Reporting by Gwladys Fouche, editing by Terje Solsvik