Eva Joly slams Norway Sovereign Wealth Fund / News / The Foreigner

Eva Joly slams Norway Sovereign Wealth Fund. The recent Oil Fund move to buy property based from tax haven Luxembourg is under fire from Norwegian-born French corruption hunter Eva Joly. “I cannot understand how it’s possible to set up a branch of the Oil Fund in a tax haven. It should be prohibited,” said a shocked Joly to Klassekampen. NOK 6.6 billion (almost USD 1.1 billion) was invested in companies registered in tax havens the Cayman Islands, Jersey, Guernsey, and Luxembourg last year.

norwayoilfund, luxembourgtaxhaven, oilfundpropertybuying



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Eva Joly slams Norway Sovereign Wealth Fund

Published on Wednesday, 13th June, 2012 at 14:15 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 13th June 2012 at 14:30.

The recent Oil Fund move to buy property based from tax haven Luxembourg is under fire from Norwegian-born French corruption hunter Eva Joly.

Anti-corruption magistrate turned MEP Eva Joly
Anti-corruption magistrate turned MEP Eva Joly
Photo: European Parliament/Flickr


Calculated

“I cannot understand how it’s possible to set up a branch of the Oil Fund in a tax haven. It should be prohibited,” said a shocked Joly to Klassekampen.

NOK 6.6 billion (almost USD 1.1 billion) was invested in companies registered in tax havens the Cayman Islands, Jersey, Guernsey, and Luxembourg last year.

Whilst critical to these transactions, Joly rebuffed the Oil Fund for the fact its strategy “is not just an unfortunate consequence of the managers' investments, this is deliberate.”

Last month, it was announced that Paul Lamberts has been appointed as chairperson of the new Oil Fund (formally-known as the Government Pension Fund Global) subsidiary NBIM S.á.r.l.

Mr Lamberts, who is tax lawyer and based in Luxembourg, has 18 years of experience of working with multinational companies and is being paid NOK 150,000 per year (approximately USD 25,000) for his services. Tasks extra to the four AGMs are remunerated at an hourly rate of NOK 1,500 (about USD 250).

Predictability

Answering Eva Joly’s censure, Labour (Ap) Deputy Minister of Finance Hilde Singsaas stated there is nothing unusual about establishing a property fund in Luxembourg when investing in more than one country. 

In recent transactions, the Fund has bought a 25 percent stake of a lease regarding The Crown Estate’s 113 Regent Street buildings in London, and joint-leased Jaeger House.

Deputy Minister Singaas told Klassekampen, “This [setting up a company in Luxembourg] is due to several factors, such as predictable and robust legal framework and a well-developed management capacity for foreign capital. National tax rules and tax treaties are also important in this context.”

Chequered history

In other unrelated and perhaps more controversial moves, questions have been raised about the Fund balancing ethics and morals against financial security. It has been lambasted by Al Gore for investing billions of kroner in oil sand extraction outside Canada, linked with illegal phosphate trade abroad by companies operating in Western Sahara, as well as a US Senate anti-environmental lobby.

Moreover, there have been allegations it has breached its own code of ethics by investing billions in companies involved with nuclear weapons, and claims the Fund contributed to Israel’s blockade of Gaza by owning shares in German submarine manufacturer ThyssenKrupp, that supplies Israel.

According to author and journalist Mark Curtis, the Fund’s “portfolio is more like a dirty list of the world’s worst corporations, including numerous oil, mining and agribusiness corporations criticized for their human rights and environmental impacts.”




Published on Wednesday, 13th June, 2012 at 14:15 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 13th June 2012 at 14:30.

This post has the following tags: norwayoilfund, luxembourgtaxhaven, oilfundpropertybuying.





  
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