New regime can boost Hydro's oil quota

Norsk Hydro boss Eivind Reiten is hopeful the changeover to a new centre-right coalition will offer the industrial giant an opportunity to buy a larger chunk of the Norway's oil resources. Hydro is ready to spend several billion crowns to acquire a significant share in the state's direct stake in Norway''s oil and gas resources, as a means of developing a powerful international operation. The company's chances of doing just that would seem to have improved with appointment of the new three-party alliance administration. The Christian Democrats, the Conservative and the Liberals all argued in Parliament last spring that Hydro should have a bigger part to play. Norsk Hydro is Norway's largest publicly traded company, in which the state is a major shareholder. Hydro would like the government's share to be reduced, but Eivind Reiten is concerned about the lack of potential private shareholders. He believes private pension fund investment would be one appropriate way forward.