Increase in net foreign assets
External economy
finansutland, Foreign asset and liabilitiesForeign assets and liabilities , External economy

Foreign asset and liabilities2003



Increase in net foreign assets

At year-end 2003, Norway's net position was NOK 809 billion, or 52 per cent of GDP. This is an increase of NOK 267 billion from 2002, and is mostly attributable to a strong performance of the securities markets.

Net position is defined as foreign financial assets minus foreign liabilities.

Norway's total foreign assets amounted to NOK 2523 billion, while total foreign liabilities were NOK 1714 billion. During 2003, foreign assets and foreign liabilities increased by NOK 506 and NOK 239 billion respectively.

The bulk of the increase in liabilities took place in financial intermediation and insurance, and public administration. In financial intermediation and insurance, liabilities increased by NOK 129 billion to NOK 783 billion. The increase was particularly strong for commercial and savings banks, which saw their foreign liabilities rise by NOK 96 billion to NOK 474 billion.

Total foreign shareholding amounted to NOK 773 billion at market value, an increase of NOK 194 billion since 2002. From 2001 to 2002, total foreign shareholding decreased by NOK 75 billion. Most financial industries saw the value of their foreign stock rise from 2002 to 2003 due to the positive development in stock markets around the world. The USA was the single most important country for Norwegian investments abroad, with stocks totalling NOK 186 billion. Other countries in which Norway had major stock interests were the United Kingdom with NOK 115 billion, Sweden with NOK 71 billion and Germany with NOK 45 billion.

Foreigners owned shares in Norwegian companies totalling NOK 87 billion at nominal value in 2003, an increase of NOK 1 billion from 2002. The most important countries in this respect were Sweden with NOK 22 billion, the United Kingdom with NOK 11 billion and USA with NOK 10 billion. Market values have not been estimated.