Many readers of The Star may not be aware that the planned £300 million extension and modernisation of the Meadowhall Shopping Centre will most probably be funded by the Norwegian Government-owned Norges Bank Investment Management Strategy.
Some years ago this Norwegian Bank, paid £348 million to acquire a 50 per cent stake in Meadowhall.
Unlike successive UK Governments Norway squirrels away the Government’s petroleum revenue – arising from levies on oil companies operating in Norway and from its stake in national energy giant Statoil – in a national oil fund.
Income from the oil fund is used to cover 11 per cent of national spending, thereby creating one of the biggest sovereign wealth funds in the world.
Some Meadowhall customers may get satisfaction from knowing that their custom is helping to fund the pensions of their Norwegian comrades.