This article presents new and updated figures on the stock of foreign direct investment (FDI) in Norway at the end of 1998. The stock of FDI in Norway, as measured here, showed an increase of NOK 30bn from 1997, reaching NOK 198bn at end-1998. Share capital owned by foreign investors accounted for NOK 8bn of the increase, while other types of equity capital rose by a good NOK 5bn. Loans from foreign investors grew by more than NOK 16bn. The survey shows that FDI has increased at a faster pace the last two years. EU countries and the US are becoming increasingly dominant, with a share of nearly 92% of FDI in Norway at end-1998. Invested capital from the Netherlands made the largest contribution to growth the last two years, and the country accounted for NOK 50bn of the stock of FDI at end-1998. This must be seen in connection with the fact that investors from other countries in some cases channel their investment in Norway through Dutch subsidiaries, probably due to favourable tax rules. More than 40% of the capital was invested in oil activities. The survey also shows that the return on direct investment was slightly lower in 1998 than one year earlier.
The surveys cover Norwegian enterprises in which the foreign investor owns 10% or more of the ownership capital. The figures represent the book values of the enterprises. In those cases where the Norwegian company has subsidiaries, the figures are based on consolidated accounts. The statistics cover slightly more than 3 000 enterprises, approximately the same number as in earlier years. On the basis of new information from the enterprises, some revisions have been made to the 1997 figures compared with the figures published earlier.
Of the total increase in invested capital of NOK 30.1bn in 1998, companies included in the surveys in both 1997 and 1998 accounted for NOK 22.7bn, whereas the net effect due to changes in companies (wind-ups/disinvestment/new business start-ups) was an increase of NOK 7.4bn. Corresponding figures for 1997 showed that companies included in the surveys in both 1996 and 1997 contributed to an increase of NOK 5.2bn, while new companies minus wind-ups and disinvestment, etc. contributed as much as NOK 23.8bn to the increase that year.
Invested capital -- geographical distribution
EU member states increased their stock of FDI in Norway by NOK 30.2bn in 1998, to NOK 135.9bn at the end of the year, accounting for 68.6% of total foreign investment in Norway. The US, which recorded an increase in invested capital of NOK 2.8bn in 1998, accounted for 22.9% (NOK 45.4bn) at the end of the year...