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Norwegians become millionaires as oil fund grows

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Every Norwegian has theoretically become a millionaire, thanks to high oil and gas prices causing the sovereign wealth fund ballooning .

In 1990 the fund was set up and it now owns 1% of the world stocks as well as bonds and real estate from London to Boston, whilst other nations are financially struggling.

A preliminary counter on the website of the central bank, which manages the fund, rose to 5.11 trillion krones ($828.66 billion), fractionally more than a million times Norway’s most recent official population estimate of 5,096,300.

It was the first time it reached the equivalent of a million krones each, central bank spokesman Thomas Sevang said.

Norwegians would not be allowed to spend the money, this has been set aside for future generations since they struck oil in the North Sea in 1969.

Finance Minister Siv Jensen told Reuters the fund, called the Government Pension Fund Global, had helped iron out big, unpredictable swings in oil and gas prices. Norway is the world’s number seven oil exporter.

“Many countries have found that temporary large revenues from natural resource exploitation produce relatively short-lived booms that are followed by difficult adjustments,” she said in an email.

The fund, equivalent to 183 percent of 2013 gross domestic product is expected to peak at 220 percent around 2030.

“The fund is a success in the sense that parliament has managed to put aside money for the future. There are many examples of countries that have mot managed that,” said Oeystein Doerum, chief economist at DNB Markets.

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