Investing with ETFs: Norway

Norway is the second most developed ETF market in the Nordic region with 6 listed ETFs

Hortense Bioy, CFA 30.11.2010 | 11.49
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Those seeking a pure play on Norway can consider DnB NOR OBX or its less liquid rival XACT OBX. They both track the performance of the 25 most traded securities on the Oslo stock exchange.

The peculiarity of the OBX is its significant concentration in the energy sector, with a 46% allocation to oil and gas stocks. The index also has a large allocation to Statoil, the world’s biggest offshore oil and gas producer, which has a 25% weighting in the index. So those looking to invest in either DnB NOR OBX or XACT OBX should be mindful that their investment will be highly vulnerable to fluctuations in energy demand and prices.

Another quarter of the OBX consists of telecoms company Telenor (TEL) and banking group DnB NOR (DNBNOR). This top heavy stock composition makes the OBX one of the most concentrated single country indices in Europe, underscoring the need to monitor the company-specific risks it entails.  Investors should also be aware that the Norwegian state has significant ownership positions in key companies such as Statoil (STL) (67%), DnB NOR (34%), Norsk Hydro (NHY) (43%) and Telenor (54%).

Leveraged and inverse ETFs are also extremely popular in Norway. Currently, the most widely-held ETF (as measured by assets under management) is XACT Derivative Bull. This fund provides daily exposure equal to twice the return of the OBX index for those who are extremely bullish on Norwegian large cap equities. XACT Derivative Bull and XACT Derivative Bear are the most widely-traded ETFs on the Oslo stock exchange, as measured by their average 3-month daily trading volume. DnB NOR offers less liquid alternatives at identical TERs.

Les også om svenske, finske og danske, nordiske og en oversiktsartikkel (norsk tekst).

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Om forfatteren

Hortense Bioy, CFA

Hortense Bioy, CFA  er Global Head of Sustainability Research i Morningstar

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