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How to invest in Norway stocks: Oslo OBX boosted by rising oil and energy prices

By Mensholong Lepcha

Edited by Jekaterina Drozdovica

10:01, 1 December 2022

national flag of Norway on silk, barrels of oil, metal coins, oil futures trading concept, growth of DBO index on stock exchange, global world trade, falling and rises oil prices
Norway’s sovereign wealth fund owns 1.5% of all shares in the world’s listed firms Photo: Kittyfly / Shutterstock

The Norwegian stock market remained strong in 2022, supported by elevated energy prices, in contrast to bear markets seen in other regions of the world.

Norway offers investors exposure to some of the biggest energy and industrial companies in Europe, like Equinor (EQNR) and Norsk Hydro (NHY). Investors may find it useful to learn more about this resource-rich nation and its energy-heavy portfolio of companies.

Are you interested in diversifying your equity portfolio? Here we take a look at how to invest in Norway stocks.  

About the Norwegian economy 

Norway is one of the richest countries in the world in terms of GDP per capita. The Scandinavian economy is known for low income inequality, vast oil and gas reserves and its sovereign wealth fund, which is the world’s largest.

The Norwegian Government Pension Fund Global is also known as the Oil Fund. It was established after one of the world’s largest offshore oil fields was discovered in the North Sea. Revenue from oil and gas production is transferred to the fund.

According to its website, Norway’s Oil Fund owned nearly 1.5% of all shares in the world’s listed companies, as of November 2022.  

At the time of writing, Norway is not a part of the European Union. The nation’s central bank, Norges Bank, is responsible for the country’s monetary policy and for issuing the Norwegian krone (NOK). The currency’s value tends to move with global crude oil prices.

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Investing in Norway: Equity benchmark indices

Let’s begin with the basics of the Norwegian stock market and look into the nation’s equity benchmark index.

The Oslo Børs Benchmark Index is the reference for the Norway stock market. The index has the most traded and largest shares listed on Norway’s Oslo Børs exchange.

As of 30 September 2022, the Oslo Børs Benchmark had 69 constituent companies. The index is reviewed on a semi-annual basis. Weighting is based on free float market capitalisation.

Energy held the largest sector weight of 37.1% on the index, as of September end 2022, ahead of financials (17.3%) and industrials (11.3%).

Energy major Equinor (EQNR) was the largest constituent with a weight of 25%, as of 30 September 2022.

Lender DNB Bank (DNBO), oil and gas explorer Aker BP (DETNF), aluminium manufacturer Norsk Hydro (NHY) and chemicals company Yara International (YAR) made up the top five constituents.

State-owned telecom giant Telenor (TELNY), seafood company Mowi (MOWI), consumer goods conglomerate Orkla (ORK), reverse vending machines maker Tomra Systems (TOMRA) and insurance group Gjensidige Forsikring (GJF) were the remaining names in the top 10 constituent list on the Oslo Børs Benchmark Index.

Norway stock market performance 

After hitting a multi-year low of 605 points in March 2020 during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Oslo Børs Benchmark Index doubled to close at 1,220 points on 30 November 2022.

The country’s benchmark index saw an incredible run of form as it posted nine consecutive months of gains between February and October 2021. Norwegian stocks extended their gains in the first quarter of 2022 at a time when most equity markets saw sell-offs following the start of the Russia-Ukraine war.

Oslo Børs Benchmark Index price, 2017 - 2022

The heavy weighting of energy stocks on the Oslo Børs Benchmark lifted the index to an all-time high of 1,290 points by May 2022 as crude oil and natural gas prices spiked following sanctions on Russia, a top energy exporter.

Norway’s stock market saw profit-taking in the months that followed as the benchmark index fell over 9% in June and slumped to a 15-month low of 1,077 points in September.

The Oslo Børs Benchmark index closed 30 November at 1,220 points. The index was flat in year-to-date terms.

Elevated energy prices throughout the year helped the benchmark index’s largest constituent, Equinor, post year-to-date gains of over 64%, as of 30 November close.

In other Norway stock market news, the country’s central bank has been on an interest rate hike cycle for over a year. 

The Norges Bank first hiked rate in September 2022 as it lifted rates from a record low of 0%. The central bank conducted its seventh hike of the cycle in November 2022 as it took rates to 2.5%.

How to invest in Norway stocks

There are several financial instruments available to gain exposure to the Norway stock market. Let’s take a look in more detail below.

Stocks

Anyone willing to invest in Norway and based in Europe can buy stocks listed on the Oslo Børs Exchange directly through their online brokerage accounts.

The acquisition of the Oslo Børs Exchange by pan-European exchange Euronext in 2019 has allowed Norway-listed stocks to gain a wider investor audience.

Foreign investors looking to diversify their equity portfolio can invest in Norway provided that their brokerage has listed Norwegian stocks on their platform.

GME

26.10 Price
+2.240% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0263%
Short position overnight fee 0.0040%
Overnight fee time 21:00 (UTC)
Spread 0.12

AMD

181.99 Price
+0.360% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0263%
Short position overnight fee 0.0040%
Overnight fee time 21:00 (UTC)
Spread 0.18

NVDA

129.88 Price
+2.170% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0263%
Short position overnight fee 0.0040%
Overnight fee time 21:00 (UTC)
Spread 0.13

TSLA

249.14 Price
+4.260% 1D Chg, %
Long position overnight fee -0.0263%
Short position overnight fee 0.0040%
Overnight fee time 21:00 (UTC)
Spread 0.19

ETFs and mutual funds

Exchange-traded funds (ETF) and mutual funds are alternative ways to invest in equity markets. 

Mutual funds differ from ETFs as the former only trade once a day after the market closes and require a certain initial capital. Both mutual funds and ETFs can track an index – a form of passive investment – or they can be actively managed by a portfolio manager. 

The constituents of an index-tracking fund only change when the constituents of the underlying index changes, which could be due to routine rebalancing based on various factors, including market capitalisation and trade volume, among others.

Key risks associated with Norway equities

When learning how to buy Norway stocks it is important to be aware of the risks involved.

Market participants should acknowledge that equity investing is considered risky due to market volatility that may arise from global factors or company-specific developments.

In terms of Norway-specific risks, the fluctuation of energy prices is the standout risk, as the Norwegian economy is heavily dependent on the oil and gas industry.

In 2021, crude oil, natural gas and other natural gas liquids contributed 60% of Norway’s exports. Furthermore, the oil and gas industry directly or indirectly employed about 200,000 people in the country. 

The fall of crude oil prices to negative territory, as seen during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic, underscored those uncertainties that plague the market.

Looking forward, strict Covid-19 lockdowns in top energy consumer China and energy demand weakness in a recessionary environment are key threats to energy prices and Norway’s economy.

Other risks include rising inflation and increasing global interest rates.

How to get exposure to Norway stocks via CFDs

Contract for differences (CFD) are among the various financial instruments available to market players today as an alternative to stock, futures and options trading.

What are CFDs? They are leveraged financial derivative instruments that allow market participants to speculate on the price of security, without owning the underlying asset. Traders can take a short or long position by buying or selling the CFD.

It is important to understand the risks involved with CFD trading which is a leveraged instrument that can magnify both profits and losses.

The use of margin allows traders to take up greater exposure to an asset with their available capital. For example, Capital.com offers a 20% margin on DNB Bank (DNBo), which equals a 5:1 leverage ratio. 

This means the trader can open a position worth $1,000 with only $200 in their account. Traders should note that the margin loan must be repaid to the brokerage.

Meanwhile, forex traders can get a leverage ratio of 20:1 (or 5% margin) on the USD/NOK pair on Capital.com. 

CFDs can be used to short stocks without having to own the underlying assets. A bearish trader can open a short position by selling the CFD of the targeted asset.

Traders interested in CFD trading should bear in mind that CFD trading may come with additional charges such as overnight fees and guaranteed stop-loss fees. 

Guaranteed stop-losses ensure exit positions at the exact specified price, regardless of market volatility. Regular stop-losses differ from guaranteed as the former may be affected by slippage. Guaranteed stop losses typically come at an extra cost, while normal stop losses are not charged.  

Margin call is a critical risk for CFD traders and can happen if the value of their position falls below a certain threshold. Brokerages may seek additional funds in a trader’s account to cover margin loans if the trader fails to meet margin calls.

Final thoughts

It is important to highlight the value of your own research before trading or investing. Reading about how to invest in Norway is a good place to start. You should always conduct your own thorough due diligence before making any financial decision, looking at the latest news, a wide range of analyst commentary, technical and fundamental analysis.

Traders should understand the risks related to equity markets and to using leveraged instruments such as CFDs. It is also critical to acknowledge the volatility of financial markets.

Remember, past performance does not guarantee future returns. And never trade money you cannot afford to lose.

FAQs

How can I invest in Norway?

Retail investors can invest in Norway’s stock market via stock trading, ETFs and mutual funds. It is important to understand the risks associated with Norwegian companies. And always conduct your own research.

Is investing in Norway a good idea?

Whether Norwegian stocks are an appropriate investment for you would depend on your risk tolerance, portfolio composition and overall investing strategy. Always conduct your own research before making any financial decisions, looking at the latest news, a wide range of analyst commentary, technical and fundamental analysis. 

Should I invest in the Norway stock market?

Equity investments are considered a high risk investment. Market participants are advised to conduct due diligence and to do your own research before investing. Only you can decide whether the Norwegian stock market is an appropriate choice for you. 

Past performance does not guarantee future returns. And never trade money you cannot afford to lose.

Markets in this article

Oil - Brent
Brent Oil
84.580 USD
-0.522 -0.610%
DNBo
Dnb
218.1 USD
1.2 +0.560%
GJF
GJF
199.0 USD
-0.7 -0.350%
MOWI
Mowi ASA
175.0 USD
2.2 +1.280%
NHY
Norsk Hydro
68.84 USD
1.69 +2.530%

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The main difference between CFD trading and trading assets, such as commodities and stocks, is that you don’t own the underlying asset when you trade on a CFD.
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Capital Com is an execution-only service provider. The material provided in this article is for information purposes only and should not be understood as investment advice. Any opinion that may be provided on this page does not constitute a recommendation by Capital Com or its agents and has not been prepared in accordance with the legal requirements designed to promote investment research independence. While the information in this communication, or on which this communication is based, has been obtained from sources that Capital.com believes to be reliable and accurate, it has not undergone independent verification. No representation or warranty, whether expressed or implied, is made as to the accuracy or completeness of any information obtained from third parties. If you rely on the information on this page, then you do so entirely at your own risk.

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