Themes outlined at VFF annual meeting in Oslo

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The Norwegian Fund and Asset Management Association (VFF) attracted somd 250 people to its annual conference in Oslo, which included insight into macroeconomic developments locally and other factors affecting Norwegian investors.

The event came as figures published by VFF showed that net sales to investors through March hit NOK480m, as withdrawals from equity funds hit NOK3.2bn (€346m), while sales of different types of fixed income funds hit NOK3.5bn (€378m) through the month.

Adding his latest thoughts on the macroeconomic winds blowing across Norway due to the weak oil price was Tore Vamraak, state secretary from the Norwegian Ministry of Finance. He pointed to a fall in productivity in the Norwegian economy in recent years, and outlined steps being taken through policy to address the hit to the economy from rising unemployment in the hydrocarbon sector.

The theme of change was followed up also by Ragnvald Sannes, senior lecturer at BI Norwegian Business School. He addressed digitalisation, EU harmonisation, and pressures on business models as factors that could serve to undermine the Norwegian welfare state as it has been.

Øystein Dørum, chief economist at DNB Markets outlined economic prospects in a low interest rate environment. Overall, he concluded that Norwegian growth will be below trend through this year.

And Idar Kreutzer, CEO of Finance Norway, the organisation representing the Norwegian finance industry, outlined the challenges facing the local economy following the collapse in the global oil price. For both employers and employees in Norway there is a need to face up to economic transformation – for example, in line with the digitalisation challenges outlined by Sannes – and the investments that this may require.

To read more click on the following links to presentations made at the VFF annual conference (some Norwegian):