Establishments, enterprises and accounts;Banking and financial markets
aksjer, Shares and dividend payments, limited companies, public limited companies, share capital, share dividends, share premium, shares, shareholders, stockholders, protection allowanceSecurities markets , Ownership and roles , Banking and financial markets, Establishments, enterprises and accounts

Shares and dividend payments


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Key figures


billion NOK in dividend payments

Received dividends, by holding sector
20162015 - 2016
NOK millionSharePer cent
Total334 452100-8
Non-financial corporations141 48042-5
Financial corporations29 590921
General government36 940115
Non-profit institutions serving households1 973120
Households56 25617-31
Rest of the world67 84920-6
Unspecified sector364073

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Table 1 
Limited companies, nominal share capital and dividend payments, by main industry

Limited companies, nominal share capital and dividend payments, by main industry
Number of limited companiesNominal share capital. NOK millionDividend payments. NOK millionNumber of limited companiesNominal share capital. NOK millionDividend payments. NOK million
1Preliminary figures.
Total271 487932 561362 851285 059938 908334 452
Agriculture, forestry and fishing3 70211 0714 1944 02511 3895 727
Mining and quarrying1 219121 02851 5111 193123 94344 474
Manufacturing12 267110 12349 17312 395106 18141 139
Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply1 44793 65318 2981 43393 57210 190
Water supply, sewerage, waste7072 6595977462 856946
Construction37 04534 20220 13439 13535 07720 806
Wholesale and retail trade: repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles41 76058 78039 06042 49256 92533 416
Transportation and storage9 30285 98218 2049 41987 89818 753
Accommodation and food service activities8 6828 5051 6939 0858 7001 569
Information and communication12 30138 86032 12013 16938 83429 509
Financial and insurance activities17 489161 56738 99116 924165 44847 117
Real estate activities61 193136 62547 14363 468135 84544 386
Professional, scientific and technical activities31 70740 36023 16133 54741 03522 782
Administrative and support service activities11 45819 39011 91911 97419 3858 483
Education3 1897504743 463732338
Human health and social work activities7 8352 2483 6988 3122 5812 438
Arts, entertainment and recreation3 8734 0196264 1952 944544
Other service activities3 9811 8519164 2781 857783
Missing2 3308889405 8063 7041 053

Table 2 
Nominal share capital and received dividends, by owner sector. NOK million

Nominal share capital and received dividends, by owner sector. NOK million
Nominal share capitalReceived dividendsNominal share capitalReceived dividends
Sum all holding sectors932 561362 851938 908334 452
Non-financial corporations513 034148 697509 123141 480
Financial corporations116 14624 367120 31529 590
General government58 90735 04459 91236 940
Non-profit institutions serving households11 0311 6509 8081 973
Households74 69181 03874 10156 256
Rest of the world158 51471 845165 32667 849
Unspecified sector239210324364

Table 3 
Individuals who owned shares, nominal share capital, received dividends and received previously paid-up share capital and share premium, by sex and age

Individuals who owned shares, nominal share capital, received dividends and received previously paid-up share capital and share premium, by sex and age
Number of individuals who owned shares 31 DecemberNominal share capital. NOK millionReceived dividends. NOK millionReceived share capital. NOK million2Received share premium. NOK million2Number of individuals who owned shares 31 DecemberNominal share capital. NOK millionReceived dividends. NOK millionReceived share capital. NOK million2Received share premium. NOK million2
1Preliminary figures.
2Does not include capital paid back in connection with liquidation or partial liquidation of limited companies.
Both sexes
Total642 87574 47480 7712 2157 469651 72773 86556 0671 2516 318
0-19 years10 127679250121769 454627241115
20-29 years41 5922 7531 74210837542 8642 5411 31031274
30-39 years91 1498 0266 70216266893 2307 7325 016108232
40-49 years137 44717 11419 372346866136 86416 30812 900276719
50-59 years138 97620 05925 9203492 207140 94920 13517 1193273 165
60-69 years122 82117 08819 4299151 829122 04516 81413 857309890
70-79 years69 9666 6826 4403041 00974 9127 4634 681181829
80 years or older30 7972 0729152033931 4092 24494319193
Total441 50956 77666 4171 7925 686448 79156 52045 7689295 324
0-19 years5 954336149..1225 599305178111
20-29 years29 6771 8131 0915629531 0901 66682128173
30-39 years65 1485 3194 83311040366 8345 2923 76555136
40-49 years97 01812 46715 28023465096 64111 81010 412165525
50-59 years96 59716 24022 2662321 83197 96916 13814 2292852 987
60-69 years84 58214 19316 6558441 35884 16214 05511 907234692
70-79 years45 6505 3075 54529778049 1055 9863 765153684
80 years or older16 8831 101596..24817 3911 26868910116
Total201 36617 69814 3554231 783202 93617 34510 299322994
0-19 years4 173344101..543 8553226204
20-29 years11 915940650528011 7748754893101
30-39 years26 0012 7081 8695226526 3962 4401 2515396
40-49 years40 4294 6474 09211221640 2234 4992 488111194
50-59 years42 3793 8193 65411737642 9803 9972 89042179
60-69 years38 2392 8942 7747147237 8832 7591 95076198
70-79 years24 3161 376895722925 8071 47791628145
80 years or older13 914971319..9114 018976254977

Table 4 
Nominal share capital and received dividend payments for foreign shareholders, by selected countries. NOK million

Nominal share capital and received dividend payments for foreign shareholders, by selected countries. NOK million
Nominal share capitalReceived dividendsNominal share capitalReceived dividends
1Preliminary figures.
Total158 51471 845165 32667 849
Sweden28 6849 44228 50210 103
United Kingdom14 9809 93314 6479 621
United States10 8115 35911 2026 022
Denmark7 2955 3906 8297 068
France6 8206 3846 8133 955
Netherlands13 43810 40013 7709 520
Luxembourg13 0017 58413 0005 011
Germany16 8692 30722 3023 524
Cyprus2 5909301 955776
Switzerland3 7612 5394 2771 208
Belgium2 6651 1362 9631 439

Table 5 
Individuals who owned shares, nominal share capital and received dividends, by county, sex and age

Individuals who owned shares, nominal share capital and received dividends, by county, sex and age
Number of individuals who owned shares 31 DecemberNominal share capital (NOK million)Percentage share of residents who owned shares 31 DecemberNumber of individuals who received dividendsReceived dividends (NOK million )Percentage share of residents who received dividends
Total651 72773 86512.4343 39156 0676.5
Østfold29 5732 44210.115 7912 1025.4
Akershus82 4518 61213.645 3378 7107.5
Oslo92 81815 66313.948 87713 6037.3
Hedmark20 3281 61910.410 8011 2155.5
Oppland22 6222 03011.912 7111 1546.7
Buskerud33 9973 45812.218 3452 9226.6
Vestfold28 7303 17911.615 0022 5696.1
Telemark22 3671 77012.912 1161 1867.0
Aust-Agder12 4421 30710.75 3251 0254.6
Vest-Agder20 2623 24311.08 8521 6144.8
Rogaland62 7238 43213.336 7765 8577.8
Hordaland68 4466 66913.236 0335 1746.9
Sogn og Fjordane16 3051 47614.88 4757237.7
Møre og Romsdal32 5064 23612.216 4861 9696.2
Sør-Trøndelag38 7553 78312.219 3752 7326.1
Nord-Trøndelag16 3071 32711.97 5897325.5
Nordland27 8142 07611.515 2421 2886.3
Troms - Romsa16 1291 7529.77 5991 2354.6
Finnmark - Finnmárku7 1527939.42 6592583.5
Total448 79156 52016.9232 00845 7688.8
0-19 years5 5993050.93 4281780.5
20-29 years31 0901 6668.512 5278213.4
30-39 years66 8345 29218.527 6923 7657.7
40-49 years96 64111 81025.444 40010 41211.6
50-59 years97 96916 13828.550 58714 22914.7
60-69 years84 16214 05529.449 07611 90717.2
70-79 years49 1055 98627.132 0123 76517.7
80 years or older17 3911 26820.912 28668914.7
Total202 93617 3457.8111 38310 2994.3
0-19 years3 8553220.62 461620.4
20-29 years11 7748753.45 3714891.5
30-39 years26 3962 4407.811 4371 2513.4
40-49 years40 2234 49911.218 9122 4885.2
50-59 years42 9803 99713.123 6442 8907.2
60-69 years37 8832 75913.322 5191 9507.9
70-79 years25 8071 47713.017 1849168.6
80 years or older14 01897610.29 8552547.2

About the statistics

The statistics give an overview of ownership of Norwegian limited and public limited companies, how much the companies pay in dividends and who receives the dividends.


Definitions of the main concepts and variables

A limited (liability) company is an enterprise where the owners' personal responsibilities for the firm's obligations are limited to the amount the owners have invested. The firm is considered an independent juridical entity. The company must have a deed of incorporation, obtain share capital and the company must be registered with the Brønnøysund Register Centre. A company is a Public limited company if it claims to be so in the ordinance and it is registered as such in the Brønnøysund Register Centre. All or a large part of the shares must be publicly traded and these must be registered with Norwegian Central Securities Depository. More information about the requirements can be found in the Limited Company Act and the Public limited Company Act.

A share is a unit of ownership in a limited company.

A primary capital certificate (PCC) is issued by a savings bank and is very similar to a share. The main differences is that the holders of the PCCs only own a limited part of the bank and has limited influence over the governance of the bank. The dividends are also limited.

Class of shares . The Board of directors can choose to divide the shares into different categories. Each category can have different dividend and voting rights or other characteristics specified at the date of issue.

A shareholder is a natural person or juridical person or other entity that owns shares in a limited company or public limited company.

Share capital . At the formation of a limited company the shareholders must invest a certain amount of capital. The minimum requirement of capital is NOK 100 000 for a limited company and NOK 1 million for a public limited company. The share capital may be increased at a later time by increasing the nominal value, or by issuing new shares. If a shareholder pays more than nominal value, a share premium has been paid. Limited companies can later reduce and repay both share capital and share premium to the shareholders. The share capital statistics include companies that were in existence 31 December in the fiscal year.

Nominal value is the value of the share when issued. The nominal value times the number of shares issued should be equal to the share capital. Nominal value can change due to stock split or a reverse stock split.

Paid dividend is the actual amount of dividend paid out to shareholders during the fiscal year. The paid dividend statistics include all dividends distributed to shareholders by limited companies during the fiscal year whether or not the limited companies were in existence at the year-end or liquidated during the year.

Received dividend is the dividend received by shareholder during the fiscal year.

Received share capital is that part of share capital by which the limited company has reduced its share capital and repayed to its shareholders. It is a non-taxable transfer.

Received share premium is that part of share premium by which the limited company has reduced its share premium and repayed to its shareholders. It is a non-taxable transfer.

Received other paid-in capital is that part of other paid-in capital by which the limited company has reduced its other paid-in capital and repayed to its shareholders. It is a non-taxable transfer.

Capital gains on sale of shares . If a shareholder sells shares and the selling price exceeds the cost price, a capital gain arise.

Risk-free return . With the introduction of the shareholder model as from 1 January 2006, dividends and capital gains on sale of shares for personal shareholders are taxed if they are above the calculated opportunity rate of return, named the risk-free return. As a rule, the risk-free return is computed by multiplying the cost price of the share by an opportunity rate of interest. It is the shareholder who owns the share at the time the risk-free return is calculated (31 December every year) who are entitled to the allowance. The risk-free return can also be used to reduce profit when the share is sold. If the risk-free return or part of it is not used in a given year, it can be carried forward and used later.

Taxable dividend is that part of the received dividend that exceeds the risk-free return.

Taxable capital gains on sale of shares is the part of the capital gains on sale of shares that exceeds the risk-free return.

Listed/non-listed . Listed shares are shares listed and traded at the Oslo Stock Exchange per 31.12 in the fiscal year. Non-listed shares are not listed at the Oslo Stock Exchange per 31.12 in the fiscal year. As of the statistics covering 2007, shares listed on Oslo Axess is also included.

Standard classifications

Classification of industry is in accordance with the revised Norwegian Standard Industrial Classification (SN94), which is based on the EU industrial standard NACE Rev. 1 and the UN industrial standard ISIC Rev. 3. As of 2004, the revised standard SN2002 is used. This standard is based on the EU industrial standard NACE Rev. 1.1. As of 2007, the revised standard SN2007, which is based on the EU industrial standard NACE Rev. 2, is used. For companies that engage in several industries, the entire business will be placed under the business that contributes the most to the overall added value. Further information can be found on the Statistics Norway web page.

Institutional sector is a statistical categorizing of the shareholders based mainly on the economic function, but also organization structure and ownership. Institutional sector categories are based on United Nations standards "System of National Accounts" (SNA) from 1993. As of fiscal year 2012, the statistics use a new institutional sector classification which is based on the UN's "System of National Accounts" (SNA) from 2008 and the EU's "European System of National Accounts' (ESA) from 2010.

The country and region classification is based in the UNs Standard Country and Area Codes Classifications (M49) . The statistics are classified by the country where the shareholder is registered. If a company, for instance an American company, owns a holding company in the Netherlands, and this holding company owns shares in a Norwegian limited company, the shareholder in the Norwegian company will be classified as Dutch in the statistisics, eventhough the ultimate owner is American.

Administrative information

Name and topic

Name: Shares and dividend payments
Topic: Establishments, enterprises and accounts

Next release

Responsible division

Division for Accounting Statistics

Regional level

National level

Frequency and timeliness

Frequency: Annual, preliminary and final figures.

Timeliness: Preliminary figures are published 26 weeks after the year-end.

International reporting

Not relevant.


Final statistics files are documented and stored.


Background and purpose

The purpose of the stock statistics is to present the value of shares and dividends of Norwegian limited companies and public limited companies by ownership.

Statistics Norway has published annual stock statistics since 1984 with the exception of the period between 1991-1993 and 2000-2003.

Users and applications

The stock statistics is used by the Ministry of Finance, internal and external research institutes, the Bank of Norway (Norges Bank) and they are used in the National Accounts.

The statistics can be used to analyse the structure of a group of companies, the ownership structure of limited companies, the distribution of dividends from the companies to the shareholders etc.

Equal treatment of users

No external users have access to the statistics and analyses before they are published and accessible simultaneously for all users on ssb.no at 8 am. Prior to this, a minimum of three months' advance notice is given inthe Statistics Release Calendar. This is one of Statistics Norway’s key principles for ensuring that all users are treated equally.

Coherence with other statistics

The stock statistics cover nearly the same population as accounting statistics for non-financial limited companies. The register-based accounting statistics include the profit and loss account and the balance sheet, thus providing more detailed figures broken down by industry and other variables.

Tax statistics for companies include both limited companies and public limited companies. The tax statistics are based on the Directorate of Taxes' register of non-personal taxation entities, and gives inter alia overall ordinary income.

The tax statistics for personal taxpayers comprise all taxable individuals. The tax statistics contains data about received dividend and it includes dividend from both Norwegian and foreign companies.

Legal authority

The Statistics Act section 3-2.

EEA reference

Not relevant.



Starting in the fiscal year 2004 the statistics incorporate all limited companies and public limited companies. As of 2006, the statistics also cover primary capital certificates (PCC). The statistics on taxable capital gains on sale of shares also include sale of equity fund shares.

Previously the statistics included all Norwegian limited companies registered on the Directory of Taxes' Register of Shares. Between 1997-1998 the statistics for non-listed companies did not included firms that were subject to tax regulation for electric power stations.

Data sources and sampling

Starting in 2004 the statistics are based on data from the Directorate of Taxes' Register of Shareholders. In the statistics on taxable dividend, data on dividend reported electronically to the Directorate of Taxes are also used.

Between 1984 and 1999 the statistics were based on the Directory of Taxes' Register of Shares and annual statistics of listed companies from Oslo Stock Exchange (Oslo Børs).

For each company additional data regarding industry and institutional sector is obtained from the Central Register of Establishments and Enterprises.

Collection of data, editing and estimations

Starting with the fiscal year 2004 Statistics Norway collected data from the Directorate of Taxes' Register of Shareholders. The registers consist of all Norwegian limited companies, specifying the number of shares issued, the share capital, the share premium, and proposed and paid dividend. In addition the register gives information about the shareholders and received dividends. Statistics Norway also collect information about received dividends that the tax payers report electronically to the Directorate of Taxes.

Between 1984 and 1999 Statistics Norway gathered data from the Register of Shares, which is a part of the Directories of Taxes' Register for Non-Personal Taxpayers. The Register of Shares contains information about the nominal value and the number of shares for Norwegian limited companies, as well as the tax value and proposed dividend for non-listed companies. Information about the listed companies was obtained from the Oslo Stock Exchange, partly through their published statistics and partly as an electronic data request.

The Tax Authorities control that the necessary and correct data is registered. In addition Statistics Norway carry out quality controls to ensure coherence and consistency within and with other available statistics.

The analysis unit is the limited company and the shareholder. The statistics are estimated by counting all units with a certain characteristic, e.g. the number of limited companies by main industry, and by aggregating a certain characteristic for all units in the statistics, e.g. received dividend.

Seasonal adjustment

Not relevant


As a main rule a figure is not published if it is based on less than three units, if one single company amounts for 90 per cent or more of the value, or if two companies amount for 95 per cent or more of the value.

Comparability over time and space

A change of source means that starting in 2004 the stock statistics are not directly comparable to earlier statistics. Some of the variables are redefined, e.g. previously the statistics included proposed dividends and as of 2004 the statistics include paid dividends.

The statistics are comparable for the period 1994 to 1999.

Prior to 1991 the stock statistics showed the estimated market value of non-listed companies. An estimate of the market value was obtained by simply using the tax value of the firm unless the tax value was zero, in which case the face value was used.

Prior to 1990 the amount published as paid dividend was the proposed dividend in the previous year. Starting in 1994 the dividend figure published included the proposed dividend to be paid out in the following year.

Adjustments to the tax system and to the accounting regulation over the years are reflected in the data and influence the continuity of the timeseries.

Adjustment of industry categorisation or structural changes within the industries might have an impact on the figure and impede the comparison over the years.

The introduction of a new institutional sector classification in 2012 means that the sector classified statistics are not fully comparable with previous years. This particularly affects the demarcation between financial and non-financial corporations.

Accuracy and reliability

Sources of error and uncertainty

The dataset is based on information given by the companies in the Shareholder Registration form, and errors arise if the information given is erroneous or inaccurate. If mistakes are not corrected during the quality controls the information of the Shareholder Registration form might be incorrect. Mistakes can also occur during the processing, the correction or the registration of the data. The quality control is mainly concerned with mistakes that can have a significant impact on the statistics. As a result, less significant errors, which have no impact on the total amounts, may not be corrected.

Some errors made during the collecting and processing of the data are unavoidable and include coding, editing and data processing errors etc. Extensive efforts have been made to minimize these errors, and we regard these types of errors to be relatively insignificant.

The statistics are based on an administration register of the population. Still there could be that some companies are not included in the register. The non-response rate is between 3 and 7 per cent of the total population of limited companies. Non-response can typically be caused by limited companies that are establish during the year or are no longer in business. When the owner is a foreign company or the general government, we also see a larger non-response rate. This is most likely caused by the fact that these shareholders are not taxed by the shareholder model, and thus the incentive to report is smaller.

The quality of the register and the linked data from administrative registers also have an impact on the quality of the finished result. Both the administrative and statistics registers are regularly updated, and will therefore change during the production process.

The stock statistics present figures for both limited companies and shareholders. Comparing these figures on might find that for items such as share capital and dividend paid there will be some differences.


Revisions are planned adjustments made to previously published figures (for instance when preliminary figures are revised and replaced with final figures). In Shares and capital returns, preliminary figures covering the recent income year are publised together with final figures covering the previous income year. To get more information about revisions, please see Principles for revisions in Statistics Norway.