November 29, 2019 / 12:03 PM / 15 days ago

UPDATE 1-Norway names new central bank board members to strengthen wealth fund oversight

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OSLO, Nov 29 (Reuters) - Norway appointed four new central bank board members on Friday in a long-planned bid to enhance oversight of its $1.1 trillion sovereign wealth fund, which is the world’s largest.

Among the board’s first tasks will be hiring a new chief executive to replace Yngve Slyngstad, who announced his resignation from the fund last month after 12 years, during which the value of its asset rose fivefold.

“The asset management expertise of the executive board will be strengthened,” Norway’s finance ministry said in a statement.

Central bank governor Oeystein Olsen will continue to lead the nine-person board, which includes his two deputy governors as well as six external members, all of whom are Norwegian.

The new members of the board are Benedicte Schilbred Fasmer, Arne Hyttnes, Hans Aasnaes and Nina Udnes Tronstad, who all have backgrounds in banking or investment management, as well as from other industries. Two others had their current terms extended.

The fund, called the Government Pension Fund Global and set up in 1996 to save petroleum revenues for future generations, has grown to almost three times Norway’s annual gross domestic product, far exceeding original projections.

While the executive board has broad responsibilities for the central bank’s operations, it will no longer be in charge of setting interest rates, which has instead been delegated to a separate committee chaired by the governor.

“With the establishment of a monetary policy and financial stability committee, the board may to a greater extent than today focus its efforts on the other activities of the bank, in particular the management of the Government Pension Fund Global,” Finance Minister Siv Jensen said. (Reporting by Terje Solsvik, editing by Gwladys Fouche and Alexander Smith)

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