OSLO (Reuters) - Norway’s $915 billion (734.2 billion pounds) sovereign wealth fund, the world’s biggest, called on Friday for companies around the world to be more transparent about their tax payments.
Norwegian lawmakers last year ordered the fund, which invests the proceeds of Norway’s vast offshore oil and gas production, to be more involved in global efforts to combat tax havens.
Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), which runs the fund, said that taxes should be paid where economic value is generated, that a company’s board is responsible for its tax arrangements and that public country-by-country tax reporting is a core element of transparency.
With stakes in about 9,000 companies globally, owning on average 1.3 percent of all listed equities, the Norwegian fund is among the world’s most influential investors which from time to time it publishes “expectations documents” in a bid to influence corporate behaviour.
“The purpose of these expectations is to express how Norges Bank Investment Management, as a financial investor, expects multinational enterprises to exhibit appropriate, prudent and transparent tax behaviour,” it said of Friday’s tax document.
Reporting by Terje Solsvik and Camilla Knudsen; editing by David Clarke and Alexander Smith