Increasing globalisation between western countries
The Netherlands, Sweden and the United States are the largest recipients of Norwegian direct investments abroad. The largest stocks of direct investment in Norway were held by Sweden and the Netherlands, while the total amount of foreign direct investment in Norway decreased slightly in 2015.
At the end of 2015, the stock of Norwegian direct investment abroad amounted to NOK 1 493 billion. This was an increase of 16 per cent compared to 2014. Foreign direct investment into Norway was NOK 1 218 billion at the end of 2015; a 1 per cent decrease from the year before.
At the end of 2015, Norwegian investors had more than NOK 200 billion invested in the Netherlands, Sweden and the United States. The invested capital in these countries increased by a large amount compared to 2014. During 2015, the Norwegian currency, the krone, depreciated against almost all foreign currencies. A depreciation of the krone would increase the nominal value of the foreign direct investment, measured in NOK. This depreciation is therefore one of the reasons for the strong increase in foreign direct investment abroad.
Regarding direct investment into Norway, the largest stocks in 2015 were held by investors from Sweden, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. Investments from Sweden and the Netherlands increased compared to 2014, while investment from Luxembourg saw a small decline from the previous year. Many countries with large direct investments in Norway have seen a decline in stocks in 2015; including France, the United Kingdom and the United States. This, together with a decline in investment from Asian countries is pulling down the total stock of direct investment in Norway.
Extraction of crude oil and natural gas most popular industry
The most popular industry both for inward and outward direct investment is extraction of crude oil and natural gas. At the end of 2015, foreign investors had NOK 386 billion invested in the industry in Norway. At the same time, the Norwegian foreign investment in this industry amounted to NOK 394 billion. For the inward investments, this was a decrease of NOK 28 billion or 7 per cent compared to 2014. Outward investment on the other hand increased by NOK 34 billion or 9 per cent for the industry compared to last year. The aforementioned currency depreciation may have played a part in this increase.
Income related to the extraction of crude oil and natural gas industry differs considerably between inward and outward direct investment. Total income for Norwegian outward investment in the industry ended in 2015 on minus 3 per cent. By comparison, the inward investments from foreign investors into extraction of crude oil and natural gas in Norway received an income of 12.9 per cent in 2015. Figures for the period 2013-2015 show that income in this industry varies somewhat. For inward investment into the industry, corresponding figures for 2013 and 2014 were 14.6 and 9.3 per cent respectively. More fluctuations are found in the outward investments, with an income of 9.8 and minus 0.1 per cent for 2013 and 2014 respectively.
Lower income overall on direct investment abroad
Lower income on outward investment does not only relate to extraction of crude oil and natural gas. Pooled together, income for all outward investments is lower than the corresponding inward investment. In 2015, income on Norwegian foreign direct investment ended at 4.8 per cent. The corresponding inward investments from foreign investors received an income of 7.4 per cent in 2015. Total income ended at NOK 72 billion for outward and NOK 90 billion for inward investments.
Looking at the period 2013-2015, income on Norwegian foreign direct investment has been quite stable. In 2013 and 2014, the income on outward investment was 4.6 and 5 per cent respectively. Income on inward investment on the other hand was slightly more variable in the two previous years. Income in 2013 was similar to 2015 with an income of 7.6 per cent, while the income in 2014 was slightly lower with 4.6 per cent.