City trams operate at night in the city center in Oslo, Norway, on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017. Norway’s sovereign wealth fund hit $1 trillion for the first time on Tuesday, driven higher by climbing stock markets and a weaker U.S. dollar. Photographer: Kyrre Lien/Bloomberg
City trams operate at night in the city center in Oslo, Norway. The chief executive of the country's sovereign wealth fund is pondering what is to come of its portfolio amid the US-China trade war. Bl

'Rupture' in global trade possible, says CEO of world's largest wealth fund

The man running the world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund is trying to figure out just how much damage an all-out global trade war might do to his portfolio.

Yngve Slyngstad, the 55-year-old chief executive of the $1 trillion (Dh3.6tn) Norwegian fund, oversees investments in more than 70 countries and 9,000 companies across the globe. With that kind of exposure to the global economy, he is analysing the signals coming from the United States and China more closely than most.

“It’s quite possible there will be a rupture in trade,” Mr Slyngstad said.

The fund, which invests Norway’s oil wealth abroad, was created to reap the fruits of globalisation and the growth it drives. The investor owns about 1.4 per cent of global stocks and sticks closely to indexes, making it hard to avoid disruptions to the global economy when they hit.

Mr Slyngstad is concerned about the fate of China in this new world order. But he also questions the future of the global supply chains that make manufacturing tick and on which companies such as Apple rely to make iPhones in China.

“The interesting part long-term is if the global supply chains will become reconfigured,” he said. “Whether that’s actually going to become two regional ones, one centered on the US and another centered on China, or are we still going to have a globalised supply chain as we have today.”

The fund has spent recent years trying to spread its investments more evenly across the world, building a roughly 10 per cent stake in emerging markets and even moving into frontier markets. The fallout of the trade war was hard to miss in its second-quarter report, when the fund lost 5.7 per cent in emerging market stocks and 4 per cent on Chinese equities.

The fund has few places to hide from a trade war, but it remains committed to its goal of spreading investments. “We just invest an equal slice all over the world,” Mr Slyngstad said.

The fund’s investment horizon is very long term, and builds on an expectation that ethical choices here and now actually make good economic sense further down the road. Looking several generations ahead, the fund expects attention to ocean management and protecting the climate to offer financial rewards. It already excludes coal, and has proposed dumping all its oil and gas stocks to reduce Norway’s overall exposure to oil. This is currently under review by the Norwegian government.


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There’s no conflict for the fund between saving the environment and chasing good returns, according to Mr Slyngstad. It only has one long-term aim: “That’s trying to make money.”

“We just think about it in a very long term,” he said. “That’s why we kind of look at the bigger risk picture.”

One risk that hasn’t fazed the fund is Brexit. The investor has continued to invest in the UK and London, where it owns large swaths of real estate, including much of Regent Street.

“Our confidence in London is strong,” Mr Slyngstad said. “Not first of all as a financial centre but as a world capital. There’s a lot of activity that goes on there that is key and crucial for the world economy so we will be long-term investors in London and the UK in general.”

As for the rest of its expansion into global cities around the world, that has slowed down a bit in recent years. The fund has a $26 billion real estate portfolio that it wants to build up to about 7 per cent of its assets.

“We haven’t really found pricing that attractive these days so we haven’t invested that much for the last couple of years,” he said.

The specs

Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cylturbo

Transmission: seven-speed DSG automatic

Power: 242bhp

Torque: 370Nm

Price: Dh136,814

Important questions to consider

1. Where on the plane does my pet travel?

There are different types of travel available for pets:

  • Manifest cargo
  • Excess luggage in the hold
  • Excess luggage in the cabin

Each option is safe. The feasibility of each option is based on the size and breed of your pet, the airline they are traveling on and country they are travelling to.


2. What is the difference between my pet traveling as manifest cargo or as excess luggage?

If traveling as manifest cargo, your pet is traveling in the front hold of the plane and can travel with or without you being on the same plane. The cost of your pets travel is based on volumetric weight, in other words, the size of their travel crate.

If traveling as excess luggage, your pet will be in the rear hold of the plane and must be traveling under the ticket of a human passenger. The cost of your pets travel is based on the actual (combined) weight of your pet in their crate.


3. What happens when my pet arrives in the country they are traveling to?

As soon as the flight arrives, your pet will be taken from the plane straight to the airport terminal.

If your pet is traveling as excess luggage, they will taken to the oversized luggage area in the arrival hall. Once you clear passport control, you will be able to collect them at the same time as your normal luggage. As you exit the airport via the ‘something to declare’ customs channel you will be asked to present your pets travel paperwork to the customs official and / or the vet on duty. 

If your pet is traveling as manifest cargo, they will be taken to the Animal Reception Centre. There, their documentation will be reviewed by the staff of the ARC to ensure all is in order. At the same time, relevant customs formalities will be completed by staff based at the arriving airport. 


4. How long does the travel paperwork and other travel preparations take?

This depends entirely on the location that your pet is traveling to. Your pet relocation compnay will provide you with an accurate timeline of how long the relevant preparations will take and at what point in the process the various steps must be taken.

In some cases they can get your pet ‘travel ready’ in a few days. In others it can be up to six months or more.


5. What vaccinations does my pet need to travel?

Regardless of where your pet is traveling, they will need certain vaccinations. The exact vaccinations they need are entirely dependent on the location they are traveling to. The one vaccination that is mandatory for every country your pet may travel to is a rabies vaccination.

Other vaccinations may also be necessary. These will be advised to you as relevant. In every situation, it is essential to keep your vaccinations current and to not miss a due date, even by one day. To do so could severely hinder your pets travel plans.

Source: Pawsome Pets UAE

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Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through and


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Label: Republic Records

Rating: 4/5

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