Remarks by Minister for Trade and Industry and Deputy Chairman, Monetary Authority of Singapore, Mr Lim Hng Kiang, In Celebration of the Opening of Norges Bank Investment Management's Singapore Office
Minister Sigbjørn Johnsen Governor Svein Gjedrem, Ambassador Janne Julsrud, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Good evening. It is a pleasure to be here to celebrate the opening of Norges Bank Investment Management’s (“NBIM”) Singapore office.
2 The opening of NBIM’s investment office here is an affirmation of the growing importance of Asian markets in the portfolios of many long-term investors like NBIM. It also reflects Singapore’s role as a key location to manage Asian investments. Your presence here will not only bring you closer to the markets you invest in but also help form stronger ties with partners in this part of the world.
3 Among the Sovereign Wealth Funds or SWFs around the world, NBIM is widely regarded as a role model for transparency and governance. Being one of the earliest SWFs, NBIM has built up a strong reputation of excellence and leadership in investment and risk management, governance and talent management practices. NBIM has stayed focused on its objective to preserve and grow wealth for the future generations of Norwegians by diversifying its investments internationally and developing a talented investment team. Your track record has been most enviable.
4 Here in Singapore, as we develop GIC to invest our national reserves, we have always looked towards NBIM in maintaining a close professional exchange of views and in mutual learning from one another. Over the past 12 years, the two organisations have actively exchanged best practices across a full spectrum of investment, risk management, operational and governance issues; the professional ties extend across many levels between the two organisations. These, I am told, have included a regular dialogue between GIC’s senior management and Governor Gjedrem of Norges Bank and his management team at NBIM.
5 This partnership extends into the international arena. In particular, the work undertaken by the International Working Group or IWG , IMF’s grouping of SWFs which includes both Norway and Singapore, has important relevance to the global community. I believe NBIM and Singapore’s GIC and Temasek share many common views of SWF best practices and serve as thought and practice leaders in the area of SWF investments.
6 I am pleased to note that the IWG has since advocated a meaningful and credible set of principles in the form of the Generally Accepted Principles and Practices or GAPP, for short. These principles serve to underpin the strategic investments of the SWF community. This is an important development because SWFs have become a significant investor group. According to the IWG, since 2005, at least 17 funds were created. There are now 38 SWFs. Last year, SWFs collectively managed over US$3 trillion of assets. Over the next three years, this pool is expected to grow to US$7 trillion.
7 With such vast investment capacity, SWFs will play increasingly important roles in the international financial system. John Lipsky of the IMF noted that in the recent crisis, SWFs have been a positive and stabilizing force in providing capital to economies.
8 The opening of NBIM’s Singapore office represents the start of a new chapter to the strong friendship and good relations between Singapore and Norway and to even closer cooperation between our investment agencies.
9 The Singapore office will certainly place NBIM in the heart of Asia; bringing NBIM closer to developments within the Asian markets and in the assessment of investment opportunities in the region.
10 Congratulations on your office opening! Have an enjoyable evening ahead!