Norway's wealth fund ups CRH stake
Published 17/12/2010 | 05:00
NORWAY'S oil-rich sovereign wealth fund has increased its stake in Ireland's biggest company, CRH, to more than 3pc.
The sovereign wealth fund (SWF) is Norway's state controlled savings account, which invests the proceeds of the country's North Sea oil in shares and bonds from around the world.
It came as CRH was also able to access the bond markets with a €100m add-on to a €500m bond deal, according to a report for Reuters IFR.
According to a statement issued on the Irish Stock Exchange, Norge Bank, the Norwegian Central Bank, is the owner of almost 22 million CRH shares, worth around €327m. Norge Bank controls the SWF.
It makes Norway among the very largest CRH owners, behind US investment managers Capital Research and Management and Blackrock, as well as Swiss bank UBS.
The biggest Irish shareholders in CRH are Irish Life and Bank of Ireland, each holding less than 3pc.
The investments show that if the Government and banks remain locked out of the capital markets some Irish companies still have access to the international capital markets.